Those littering in public may have to pay a hefty fine soon with those found guilty set to face a maximum $1000 fine under a proposed law change.
National environment spokesperson Scott Simpson has put forward a Bill to bring in tougher penalties for illegal rubbish dumping.
The Bill has passed its first reading in Parliament and will now be considered by the Environment select committee.
If the Bill is successful, councils will be able to increase the maximum fine for those who are caught littering from $400 to $1000.
It is hoped that new laws will give councils more power to deal with the increasing problem. In Auckland, cleaning up litter costs almost $5 million a year.