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 project not only aims to promote a healthier lifestyle amongst residents and tourists, but prevent the pollution and waste of cigarette butts in natural spaces. Not to mention the accidental swallowing of cigarette butts by children playing in the sand and sea.

Government-issued information states that cigarette butts are an even worse contributor to marine waste than plastic; just one is able to pollute up to eight litres of water and can take up to 10 years to decompose.

The measure, which is in its initial phase in the Balearics but already underway in parts of Spain, is entirely voluntary. Town councils can decide whether whole beaches or only a stretch of coastal area participate. As the initiative is not law, police will not have the authority to patrol beaches and prosecute offenders.

A web page will be created listing the beaches and coastal areas which plan to take part.

 

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