Belarusians could have their cars confiscated if they are found polluting the environment, according to a statement from the country's president.

On a visit to farms in the Minsk district during harvest, Alexander Lukashenko said citizens must take a more active role in keeping land clean and tidy, not only in residential areas and on major transport routes, but also in the most remote places of Belarus, according to a report from the state-owned news agency BelTA.

Recalling a recent trip to the rural area betweeen Mogilev Oblast and Vitebsk Oblast, Lukashenko said he found the "most terrible treatment of farmland".

"I went to a most distant place. They have most terrible treatment of farmland there. They think it is far away and no one will see it. This is irresponsible," he said.

BelTA quoted the president as saying the attitude towards the farms was "disgusting" and showed an "I-couldn't-care-less attitude".

Lukashenko said he has tasked local administrations with reaching out to the population, and said he had requested especially tough measures to be applied to those who pollute the environment by dump waste in places not intended for that purposes – the toughest of which would involve confiscating their cars.

He did not elaborate on how the punishments would be decided, or how long the cars would be confiscated.