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Last updated: February 1, 2017

What Does Litter Mean?

Litter is defined as carelessly disregarded waste, which makes a location untidy or messy, or into a state of disorder. States have litter laws to penalize littering in America, which are specific to each state, and help to minimize littering in public areas. Those caught littering may be penalized by fines, community service, or can even be imprisoned in more serious cases.

Safeopedia Explains Litter

States spend millions of dollars each year cleaning up litter from public areas, such as roadways, parks and coastal areas. Litter can harm the environment, have poor effect on property values and cause other economic issues. The most common types of litter are food product packages, tobacco related items, bottles, cans and plastic bags. Different states use different means to discourage littering. For example, in one state a person may be fined in proportion to the weight of the rubbish that was dumped, while in another he may be punished according to the type of material discarded.


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