A Chelmsford resident has been successfully prosecuted by the City Council for dropping cigarette litter.
Kelly Ghosh (37), of Cherry Garden Road, Great Waltham, dropped a cigarette butt in Duke Street on 2 November. The offence was witnessed by the Council’s enforcement team.
The case was brought to Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on 11 May. As the defendant did not attend, the matter was proved in her absence. The court imposed fines of £225, costs of £125 and a victim surcharge of £22.
According to Public Health England, 31 billion filtered cigarettes are smoked every year in England, creating 5,225 tonnes of waste and costing thousands in public funds to clear up. Discarded butts cause serious environmental problems, taking up to twelve years to biodegrade and containing thousands of toxic chemicals, including arsenic. Cigarette litter harms wildlife, contaminates water supplies and can even cause fires.
A spokesperson for Chelmsford City Council said, “Cigarette butts may be small, but they add up to a big problem. They are harmful to our environment and spoil our public places. Dropping any kind of litter has consequences and can end up being very expensive for the litterer. To avoid a fine, find a bin.”