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Cha-am beach still littered with cigarette butts after smoking ban is imposed

Cigarette butts are still littering the beach at Cha-am but lesser than previously, officials of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources said.

The survey of Cha-am beach was conducted during October 16-17 after a pilot project of smoking ban was first introduced here before the planned inposition of smoking ban on 20 beaches next month.

From the two-day inspection of the Cha-am beach in Phetburi province, cigarette butts could still be found on the beach, but dropped by 0.62 butt in a square metre of space.

Under the smoking ban to be imposed on 20 beaches in November, smokers are asked to discard of their cigarettes on bins before going out to the beach to swim.

The smoking ban on the beaches is introduced after recent survey showed cigarette packages and filters constitute the most garbage on the beaches.

In Thailand, more than 100 million discarded cigarette butts are littered daily on the roads. The cigarette butts block drain pipes. In water, they release toxic chemical substances such as cadmium, lead, arsenic and others which are poisonous to the food chain.

Officials are planning to make smoking on the beaches a permanent ban after it is announced in the Royal Gazette.

Violater faces one-year imprisonment or a fine of not more than 100,000 baht or facing both.

Officials also collected cigarette butts from 10 locations on Hua Hin and Khao Ta Kieb beaches, with each location 200 metres apart to compile a report for references before making the ban a law.

The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources plans to impose a smoking ban at 20 beaches in November after all of the country’s beaches are found to have been littered with large quantities of cigarette butts.

Earlier Jatuporn Burussapat, the director-general of the department, said that in a recent survey of Pa Tong beach, Phuket, conducted by the department’s research and development centre, an average of 130,000 cigarette butts were found on every 2.5-kilometre stretch of the beach.

Thai PBS

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