In Brief: Deutsche Umwelthilfe proposes smoking ban at playgrounds, 200 euro fine for illegally tossed cigarette butts

A smoking ban at playgrounds across Germany? A Pfand system for cigarette butts? We break down proposals from Deutsche Umwelthilfe and from a petition posted to that has over 53,000 signatures.

Photo by Sylvia Cunningham



The Deutsche Umwelthilfe (Environmental Action Germany) is calling for a smoking ban at playgrounds across Germany.

The nonprofit is also proposing a fine of at least 200 euros for illegally tossed cigarette butts. In a press release, they cited concerns of water contamination and putting toddlers at risk for poisoning.

Meanwhile, a petition launched by a Berliner named Stephan von Orlow has gained some traction. He’s proposing a kind of Pfand system. The idea is to charge an additional 20 cents per cigarette. You could make those 4 euros back by collecting and returning your cigarette butts.

The petition has over 53,000 signatures.


In the first half of 2019, 6.7 million tourists came to Berlin. That is a record-breaking number – 3.8 percent more than in the same period of 2018.

The Statistical Office for Berlin-Brandenburg documented an increase in tourists from elsewhere in Germany, the United States, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands.

The country where a drop was seen? Great Britain. Compared to the first half of 2018, visitors were down 7.4 percent.


On Sunday the Berlin Tierheim is hosting a summer party, featuring programs for children, guided tours, and of course the possibility to adopt a new pet.

The organization told Berliner Rundfunk more than 1,000 pets including dogs, cats and turtles have been either given away or abandoned in the last few weeks.

Due to limited parking space, the Tierheim advises attendees to travel with public transportation.


This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.  

By the way – If you love our content, please consider donating to KCRW Berlin. We are a listener-funded public radio station, driven by supporters like you. Your donation supports our programming and events, feeding a flourishing English language community with local news, information and ideas.