To tackle environmental issues, Thailand has issued a ban on littering and smoking at 24 popular tourist beaches.
The law, which was instated by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, says those who breach might risk being imprisoned for up to one year.
Director at the Office of Marine and Coastal Resources Management, Bannaruk Sermthong, cautioned smokers that if they must do so, it has to be done in designated smoking zones and not beach areas. He further said that cigarette butts accounted for a third of all beach waste.
The 24 tourist beaches are in the provinces of Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phuket, Songkhla and Chon Buri, including Pattaya and Koh Samui. This initiative began way back 2017 when the head of Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DCMR) reported that his team had collected up to 138,000 cigarette butts on a 2.5 km stretch of Patong beach in Phuket.
There were designated areas put in place, specifically for smokers, located further inlandwith containers provided to drop butts into.
Those caught contravening the ban will be taken to criminal court and face up to one year in jail, a fine of up to 100,000 baht (£2,242), or both.