A man has been fined £175 and ordered to pay court costs of £264.71 after dropping a cigarette end in Llanelli town centre.
David John Benson was convicted in absence of an offence contrary to Section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 at Ammanford Magistrates Court.
The prosecution was brought by Carmarthenshire County Council.
The court heard that the council’s environmental enforcement officers who were on patrol in the town centre back in June when they saw a male talking on the phone and smoking a cigarette.
He then dropped the cigarette end on to the ground. The officers approached the man and explained that he had committed an offence.
Benson, aged 61, of Grove House, Tewkesbury Road, Upton Upon Severn, Worcestershire, was issued with a fixed penalty notice of £75. However, he failed to pay it within the specified time and was prosecuted through the courts as a result.
Council Executive Board Member for the Environment Cllr Philip Hughes said: “There is no excuse for littering our streets. Many people do not think of cigarette ends as litter, but they are. It makes an area look unsightly and is difficult and very expensive to clean up as the ends fall into grates and cracks in the pavement which makes them almost impossible to remove by normal cleaning.
“We do not want to fine people but we will not hesitate to do so if they continue to litter in this way.”
Research shows that discarded cigarette ends make up the largest proportion of litter in Carmarthenshire with 83% of litter found on the county’s streets smoking-related.
The council hopes this case will act as a warning to others that those caught throwing litter will be prosecuted. It follows a campaign to raise awareness of smoking-related litter.