top of page

Boca Raton councilman wants to increase fines for litterers of PPE

Proposal would increase fines from $50 to $250

The sight of discarded facemasks, gloves and other personal protective equipment pretty much everywhere over the last year has become a pervasive problem.

To reduce improperly discarded PPE, Boca Raton Councilman Andy Thomson wants to increase fines for offenders.

Thomson made it a New Year's resolution to pick up trash and clean up neighborhoods while on his periodic runs through the city.

During the councilman's jogs, he said he has noticed a substantial amount of the trash is PPE, including finding 143 masks on the ground within 50 miles.

At the next city council meeting, Thomson said he will propose a $250 fine for anyone who is caught littering PPE, an increase from the current $50 fine for littering.

"If you are going to litter, what is potentially a biohazard, a glove or a mask, you really should be paying an enhanced fine if you are seen doing that," Thomson said.

Jessica Gray-Patterson with Boca Save our Beaches said she agrees with the increased fine.

Her group found multiple masks at one of their recent beach clean-ups. She said people forget that masks thrown away at the beach end up in the ocean.

"In South Florida, we have a lot of rain and wind, so [if ] that mask [is] sitting in a parking lot, a rainstorm washes it to a storm drain," Gray-Patterson said. "We are seeing more masks in the ocean after a year."

Thomson said he is pushing for the increased fine at the state level as well. He adds this fine isn't about money but about creating awareness concerning people dumping a used mask or gloves.

"What we want to do is educate and send a message that this is unacceptable behavior here in the city," Thomson said.

By:Miranda Christian , Scott Sutton

Featured Posts
No posts published in this language yet
Once posts are published, you’ll see them here.
Follow Me
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon
  • Grey Pinterest Icon
bottom of page