The ban will first touch the 20 beaches of Thailand, but subject to the success of this event can apply across the country. This translated into 101,058 butts along the 2.5km beach.
After unearthing a large number of cigarette butts on Patong Beach, the Department of Marine and Coastal announced Monday that smoking will be banned at all beaches nationwide. "And then when the chemicals from the cigarette butts reach the water, it also releases cadmium, lead, arsenic and some acid from insecticide which are poison to the natural food chain", said Buruspat to Phuket Gazette.
"Cigarette butts accounted for 30 per cent of the waste found", said Jatuporn Buruspat, the department's director general. At the same time near the coastal areas will be equipped with special areas for Smoking. This greatly added to the problem of unnecessary flooding caused by rubbish clogging the drains.
Thailand is banning smoking on numerous beaches across the country, including in tourist hotspot Phuket. However, authorities said smoking zones adjacent to beaches will be set up before the ban becomes effective.
The 20 beaches involved include Mae Pim, Laem Sing, Bang Saen, Cha-am, Khao Takiab, Bo Phut, Haad Sai Ree, Patong, Pattaya, Jomthien, Koh Khai Nok and Koh Khai Nai.
Koh Samui Thailand Credit preto_perola
There will be "designated areas" for smokers located further inland, according to Jatuporn Buruspat, head of the DMCR, with containers provided to drop butts into.
Laws outlawing beach smoking will be anchored in marine park law, which means that illegal smoking could carry penalties as stiff as fines of THB100,000 (about US$3,000) or up to a year in jail.
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.
The ban is due to come into force later this month as Phuket prepares to host an worldwide conference on sea waste.
To prevent throwing cigarette butts into the sea, Jatuporn said he would seek cooperation from the Marine Department to ban smoking on boats.