Thailand plans to take a severe measure against the random dropping of cigarette butts on beaches throughout the country, said a Senior Government Official on Monday.
Beginning from November, the dropping of cigarette butts on all major beaches nationwide will be legally prohibited and those found to do so will be subject to a maximum of one year in prison.
Director-General, Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, Jatuporn Burutphat, said that the jail term would attract a maximum fine of 2, 940 U.S. dollars or both.
Thailand’s major beaches where the stringent legal measure would be imposed include those in Pattaya, Hua Hin, Phuket and Koh Samui Island.
It is going to be regulated under the Marine and Coastal Resources Management Act of 2015, primarily designed to combat pollution in the sea and environment.
Besides, those who may drop cigarette butts while travelling on any boat in the sea would be faced with the same legal penalties, the department chief said.
He cited a survey recently conducted by the department’s research centre as finding out that about 139,000 cigarette butts had been dropped randomly in the sand along a 2.5-kilometer-long Patong beach in Phuket.
Thailand has had some 500,000 tons of cigarette butts and cigarette packs discarded freely in a year only to become rotten waste and detrimental to the environment, Burutphat said.