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Banning the butt – cigarette ban on Phuket’s beaches

Tim Newton

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What is the most numerous item found at the many beach cleans organised by groups around the island? Plastic bottle? Straws? Flip-flops? plastic bags?

No.

It’s cigarette butts. People smoking on the beach and leaving their butts in the sand are a major contributor to the island’s beach rubbish problem. And it’s not just Phuket.

Beaches around the kingdom have a huge cigarette butt problem as well as a few complaints from people complaining when they’re relaxing downwind of a smoker.

Unlike bottles and other highly visible garbage, cigarette butts are harder to see, partly because they are very small and the colours tend to blend into the colour of the sand.

So Thai authorities are banning the butts.

There will be a complete ban on smoking on twenty popular beaches across Thailand from November this year. The penalty for smoking will be either one year in prison or a fine of up to 100,000 Baht (US$3,000) or both. That’s a serious fine!

The twenty beaches included in the ban are in Pattaya, Bangsaen, Cha-am, Hua Hin, Phuket, Samui, Phang Nga and Songkhla. If the campaign is successful, more beaches will be included in the smoking ban.

During a recent beach clean-up on Patong Beach, it was estimated that volunteer beach cleaners found an average of 100,000 cigarette butts per 2.5 km of beach.

The Daily News, which reported the story, hasn’t provided a list of which beaches in Phuket will be targeted by the new ban.

PHOTO: Daily News

 

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    haymanpl

    Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Great idea but will it be enforced for both Thai and foreigners equally?

    100,000 Baht fine. I doubt any Thai will be fined this amount for smoking on the beach.

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Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 41 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented over 10,000 radio news bulletins, 3,900 in Thailand alone, hosted 650 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. As founder of The Thaiger, Tim now acts as the Content Manager and head-writer, whilst supervising the growth of the YouTube channel. He's reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand.

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