HONG KONG Hong Kong officials have raised on-the-spot fines for public cleanliness offenses like littering and spitting from Sunday (Oct 22), ramping up efforts to improve the city’s environmental hygiene.
The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) said penalties for littering, spitting, unauthorized billposting, and other violations will be increased to HK$3,000 ($380) under amendments to the Fixed Penalty Ordinance taking effect.
Fines for more serious infractions like illegal dumping of construction waste or large amounts of other refuse will jump to HK$6,000.
An FEHD spokesman told Reuters the higher penalties are aimed at stronger deterrence as public cooperation is needed for continual hygiene upgrades. Officers have conducted educational outreach while enhancing training and equipment.
Hong Kong regularly ranks highly in global livability but grapples with litter and other public hygiene issues. Strengthening enforcement underscores the government’s push to remedy urban quality challenges as it aims to bolster Hong Kong’s status as an international business hub.
While some civil liberties groups criticize the city’s “broken windows” policing strategy, authorities stressed that stiffer penalties and community engagement are both crucial to solving the deep-rooted cleanliness problems afflicting Asia’s world city.