No smoking on Thailand beaches

No smoking on Thailand beaches

No smoking on Thailand beaches

The ban on the 20 beaches will serve as a trial run before all other beaches in Thailand could implement the no-smoking rule.

The measure will apply to up to 20 beaches in areas, including the popular tourist destination of Phuket.

The Marine and Coastal Resources Department said in a recent survey of it was found that anything between 63,000 to 138,000 cigarette butts on a 2.5-kilometre stretch of Patong Beach were retrieved.

According to data from the Center for Research and Development of Marine and Coastal Resources, the Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand beach resorts are littered with trash and cigarette butts.

"The butts clog the drains contributing to floods".

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"Cigarettes have a direct effect on the natural environment", director general Jatuporn Buruspat told the Phuket Gazette.

So, in an effort to keep cigarette butts off the beaches that Thailand is so well-known for, officials are planning to ban smoking by the seaside, citing that cigarettes do damage to marine and coastal resources and basing the assumed presence of cigarette butts on beaches on those found on Patong Beach.

The ban is eventually expected to be enforced on all beaches nationwide.

Buruspat added that while smoking will be prohibited on the beaches affected by the measure, there will be "designated areas" further inland where smokers will be able drop their litter "in provided containers".

Anyone found to be breaking the law will face one year in jail or a maximum 100,000 baht (S$4,080) fine, or both.

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The ban is due to come into force later this month as Phuket prepares to host an global conference on sea waste.

The beaches that will come under November's ban include hotspots like Koh Samui, Pattaya, Hua Hin and Patong.

Thailand has been judged to have the sixth most rubbish-strewn sea in the world, a problem which needs to be tackled with proper legal measures, he said.

"No more lighting up while strolling along the beach because that is most likely to end up with a huge number of cigarette butts being dropped on the beaches", the Bangkok Post cited Buruspat as saying.

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