IN an effort to conserve and protect popular Thai beaches, the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources has banned smoking on 24 beaches in 15 provinces from February 1, 2018, the Thai-language Matichon daily reported today (Jan. 25).
Those violating this ban face 100,000 baht fine and/or 1 year in jail but initially warnings will be given and the law not seriously enforced.
Moreover smoking points have been arranged for holidaymakers to use before they go on the beach.
Mr Bannarak Sermthong, the head of Marine and Coastal Management office 4, said the department checked and found out cigarette butts and the boxes and packages they come in are the biggest litter on these beaches.
When this waste decomposes it releases harmful chemicals such as cadmium, lead, arsenic and insecticides which endangers the food chain and badly affects natural resources.
The 24 beaches in 15 provinces are as follows:
- Ban Chuen beach in southeastern Trat province;
- Laem Sadej beach in eastern Chanthaburi province;
- Saeng Chan beach in eastern Rayong province;
- Bang Saen, Tham Phang, Sai Kaew, Dongtan and Pattaya beaches in eastern Chonburi province;
- Cha-am beach in western Petchaburi province;
- Hua Hin and Khao Takiab beaches in western Prachuab Khiri Khan province;
- Sairi beach in southern Chumphon province;
- Bophut beach at Koh Samui island; Chalok Baan Kao beach, Koh Tao island, southern Surat Thani province;
- Plai Sai beach in southern Nakhon Si Thammarat province;
- Chalathat beach in southern Songkhla province;
- Wasukri Beach beach in southern border Pattani province;
- Patong beach in Phuket;
- Koh Khai Nok and Koh Khai Nai beaches in southwestern coastal Phang-nga province;
- Kaw Kwang, Klong Dao, and Phra Ae beaches in southwestern coastal Krabi province
- Chao Samran beach in southern Trang province.
Top: Tourists enjoying themselves at a Krabi beach. Photo: Phalinn Ooi (CC-BY-2.0)
In-text: Thai officials at a smoking point near a beach. Photo: Matichon