Smoking will soon be banned on 20 popular tourist beaches found to be constantly littered with huge numbers of discarded cigarette butts, according to the chief of marine and coastal resources.
The move comes ahead of an international conference on sea waste in Phuket later this month, Thai media reported.
An examination of just 9 square metres of Patong Beach on Phuket by the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources’ Phuket Marine Biological Centre on Sept 9 found an average 0.76 butts per square metre. This translated into 101,058 butts along the 2.5km beach.
The discarded butts made up about one-third of all the rubbish collected.
Department director-general Jatuporn Buruspat also said it was estimated that more than 100 million cigarette butts were left on the roads in the major cities of Thailand each day. This greatly added to the problem of unnecessary flooding caused by rubbish clogging the drains.
He said Phuket, Prachuap Khiri …