Bolivia imposes $4,800 fine on littering, world’s harshest

Bolivia imposes $4,800 fine on littering, world’s harshest

Sunday, November 1, 2015 7:01 pm

Illustration: a litter warning

Illustration: a litter warning

In Bolivia, a new Law for the Complete Management of Solid Waste has been passed with sanctions spelled out for those leaving garbage on the streets.

The lightest fine will be 828 bolivianos (119 U.S. dollars) and the law also promotes the treatment and recycling of solid waste. Fines can reach $4,800 for the gravest offences.

The law will be applied in 180 days after it was passed, over which time the regulations surrounding it will be better defined. However, from the end of April or beginning of May 2016, Bolivia will have unprecedented powers to fine people for littering.

Minister of the Environment and Water, Alexandra Moreira, stated that the new law would levy a wide range of fines and also establish sanctions for those contaminating water resources.

These will be based on the severity of the crime and will start from 828 bolivianos (119 U.S. dollars), equivalent to half the average monthly salary in Bolivia, rising to 33,120 bolivianos (4,800 U.S. dollars) for the most serious offences.

The law explains that light infractions include the throwing, abandoning or burial of non-dangerous litters in pubic areas. This also covers the non-separation of types of waste when a clearly differentiated garbage disposal system is available.

Severe infractions cover the depositing or abandoning of some types of garbage in non-authorized areas, the creation of illegal dumping sites, the burning of any type of waste, the offering of unlicensed garbage disposal services, and feeding inappropriate waste to animals.

The Law for the Complete Management of Solid Waste also seeks to avoid the use of plastic and encourage recycling as a way of lowering environmental damage, stated Moreira.

According to government data, Bolivia produces around 2 million tons of waste annually, 90 percent of which is deposited in open-air dumps. 37 percent of these dumps are situated near rivers or other water resources, increasing the risk of contamination. Of this waste, Moreira estimates up to 70 percent could be recycled.

Join The Conversation

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.