Fly tipping fines are too low, Birmingham solicitors Williamson and Soden have warned.
They were commenting on the Home Office announcement that the Environment Agency is to be given new powers to apply for anti-social behaviour orders to tackle environ-mental crime.
That takes in fly tipping, vandalism and noise nuisance.
Williamson and Soden said the Agency was keen to combat pollution caused by businesses that indiscriminately dump waste, thereby saving taxpayers millions on the cost of cleaning up.
"Fines imposed by the courts for environmental offences are low and amount to little more than 'back pocket cash' to corporate offenders, who tend to treat them as a legitimate business expense," said associate partner Louisa Jake-man.
"The Agency believes ASBOs could be a more effective deterrent than a financial penalty, since they will enable it to take faster action against perpetrators and the stigma attached will have a marked impact on a company's reputation."
Currently, local authorities, the police and social landlords can apply for ASBOs, which primarily have been used to deal with street problems and nuisance neighbours.
Breach of an ASBO is a criminal matter punishable by fines and imprisonment.
But Williamson and Soden acknowledges the business world has mixed views about their use to combat environmental crime.
The CBI supports them with the proviso that they should be used only against the minority of rogue companies and individuals who persistently and deliberately flout environmental and noise legislation for financial gain.
On the other hand, the Forum of Private Businesses says ASBOs are not appropriate to deal with noise nuisance or fly tipping by traders, as they are intended to tackle loutish behaviour by individuals.
"Although it is not yet clear when the Environment Agency will gain these new powers, nor how it intends to use them, it is clear they are a key element of the Government's Respect agenda and we can therefore expect to see swift action by both parties as they commit to improving the quality of our environment," added Mrs Jakeman.