Gov’t resorts to stricter penalties for littering after phenomenon reaches ‘danger’ level

Maximum penalty increased to up to JD1,000, in addition to prison time

Garbage is seen strewn on the ground next to overflowing waste containers in an Amman neighborhood in this undated photo. (Photo: Jordan News)
Garbage is seen strewn on the ground next to overflowing waste containers in an Amman neighborhood in this undated photo. (Photo: Jordan News)
IRBID — Last week, the Ministry of Environment announced higher penalties for littering in public spaces and institutions, under new legislative amendments seeking to curb the phenomenon, which has become “a danger to the Jordanian environment and society,” according to one local official.اضافة اعلان

The new fines are an activation of the Waste Management Framework Law No. 16 of 2020, which was ratified and published in the Official Gazette six months earlier, and came into effect last week.

Under the new law, according to media advisor to the minister of environment and the official spokesperson for the ministry, Ahmed Obeidat, the minimum penalty for littering has been raised from a fine of JD20 to JD50, while the maximum punishment was raised to up to JD1,000.

The penalty can also include a prison sentence ranging from one week to one month, and double the fine for repeat offenders.

Obeidat told Jordan News that the new harsher penalty was imposed due to “the large number of violations committed by citizens.”

"I will not use numbers and percentages to talk about the size of the violations, but the number was very large in previous periods,” the spokesperson said.

"This problem is no longer a simple matter, and it has become a danger to the Jordanian environment and the Jordanian society in general, and to the tourist areas as well, as it reflects negative phenomenon and an uncivilized (image) for Jordan and Jordanians,” Obeidat added.

"The Ministry of Environment, in its capacity as a supervisory and inspection body, focused on raising awareness and modifying the behavior of some citizens who commit these violations, and did not focus only on punishment.

However, the repetition of these violations and the increase in their number made us turn to this option to modify (such behavior), and this step, I believe, was directed towards the right direction in order to be a deterrent to all those who harm the environment and Jordan in general,” Obeidat told Jordan News.

According to the ministry official, the ministry launched a national plan for environmental awareness about a year and a half ago, but it was hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the national plan, and in conjunction with the activation of the new penalties, the ministry launched a campaign last week to clean public places and roads across the Kingdom.

Ahmed Manna', a resident of Ramtha, told Jordan News that in the past, he used to view financial penalties as “an indirect means of theft.”

“But after I saw the increase in the number of violations in my area, it became a disservice to the people of the area.

From here, I found that the solution of stiffening the penalties and imprisonment is the most appropriate solution to mitigate this uncivilized behavior," Manna’ added.

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