Euronews reports that France plans to hike up fines for dropping litter on the streets, after an outcry over images of surgical masks and gloves floating in the ocean.
Brune Poirson, a junior minister for the environment, said the fine would increase from €68 to €135. The penalty will rise to as much as €750 depending on the severity.
“Plastic waste linked to the COVID-19 crisis reminds us that if we want clean oceans, it starts with clear sidewalks,” she wrote on Twitter.
The French government’s announcement on Sunday came just a day ahead of World Oceans Day and a week after an environmental NGO sounded the alarm over a new type of waste piling on top of the longtime plague of plastic pollution.