In Thailand, another ban is now in action – this time a ban on smoking at popular beaches. And if you think that this is a playgame, it’s not. The punishment for a violation is 100,000 baht ($3,100) fine or 1 year in prison.
The reason for the actions of the Thai authorities is the report of the Marine Biological Center of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources that about 760000 cigarette butts fall on one square kilometer of the beaches of Phuket. Cigarette filters slowly decompose, releasing hazardous elements like lead and cadmium. According to statistics, only in Phuket more than 100 million dangerous cigarette butts are thrown away every day.
Prachuap-Hiri-Khan, Chon-Buri and Songkhla provinces agreed to start a ban on smoking on these beaches:
- Mae Phim in Rayong;
- Laem Sing at Chanthaburi;
- Bang Saen, Pattaya
- Tam Pang on Koh Chang Island in Chon Buri;
- Cha-am in Phetchaburi; Hua Hin and Khao Takiap in Prachuap Hiri Khan;
- Patong in Phuket;
- Bo Phut on Koh Samui in Surat Thani;
- Sai Ri at Chumphon; Shalat in Songkhla;
- Ta Wa Sukri in Pattani; Koh Khai Nok, Koh Khai Nai on Koh Yao in Phangnga;
- Phra Ae and Khlong Dao on Koh Lanta in Krabi.
The list does not include the beaches of Jomtien and Pattaya Beach, but no doubt the authorities of Pattaya will support the a decision.
Jatuporn Buruspa, general director of the said department, said that before entering Thailand’s beach, it would be necessary to throw cigarette butts into special trash container. Also, the department is developing a method for tracking violations when cigarette butts are dumped into the water from boats.