Those who litter or urinate in public will be fined up to VND7 million (US$313), starting February 1, according to a recent decree by the Vietnamese government.
The act of public littering is subject to a fine of VND3-5 million (US$134-223), the fiat says.
Those who litter on the streets, sidewalks or into drainage systems will pay an even higher fine of VND5-7 million ($223-313).
People who put away cigarette butts in undesignated areas at condominiums, shopping malls or other public places will be fined between VND500,000 ($22.5)and VND1 million ($45).
Public urination and defecation will also be subject to penalties of VND1-3 million ($45-134), according to the new decree. The old penalty for such an illegal act is from VND200,000 ($8.7) to VND300,000 ($13).
The new fines are between five and 25 times higher than those previously enforced in Vietnam, as the highest penalty for such actions were only set at VND500,000 ($22.5), a sum many had deemed ineffective in raising public awareness of environmental protection.
Local experts have aired support for the heftier penalties for public urination and littering, saying that the harsher punishments are necessary for combating such illegal behaviors.