Balearic Islands Clarifies Smokeless Beach Campaign
by Traveleads | April 26, 2019 | Latest News
The Balearic Islands government has introduced a new initiative encouraging town councils to contribute to a network of smoke-free beaches in the archipelago.
The ministries of health and environment have welcomed the project with the aim of promoting a healthier lifestyle among residents and tourists while also preventing the pollution and waste of cigarette butts in natural spaces.
The impact on the ocean according to 2018 figures collected by NGO Ocean Conservancy, rougly 60 million cigarette butts have been collected from the seas since the mid-Eighties, far beyond the volumes of coffee cups or plastic straws.
One solitary cigarette butt can pollute up to eight litres of water, and take up to a decade to decompose.
The measure, which is in its initial phase, is entirely voluntary and town councils can decide which areas become part of this network; whether it is the whole beach or only a stretch of coastal area.
The initiative is not a law or legal prohibition and therefore local police do not have the authority to patrol beaches and prosecute smokers (as had been suggested in some sources).
The initiative, which is already underway in parts of Spain, will see informative materials being distributed to local councils around the islands and a web page created which will list the beaches and coastal areas which plan to take part on the initiative.