Three beaches in Majorca have been added to a network of no-smoking beaches. They bring the total to five; there are two in Ibiza.
The announcement was made yesterday by the health and environment ministers, Patricia Gómez and Miquel Mir.
They were at one of the three beaches - Cala Estancia in Palma.
The other two are Cala Anguila in Manacor and Sant Joan in Alcudia. The no-smoking beach initiative is for two main reasons - people’s health and reducing cigarette waste (butts).
With regard to the latter, these can be washed out to sea and ingested by turtles, or they can be eaten by seabirds.
Small children have also been known to put them in their mouths.
Butts can take up to ten years to decompose and contain nicotine and arsenic. Mir noted that cigarette butts are the worst type of marine waste; worse even than plastics. One butt can contaminate eight litres of water.
Making a beach no smoking is voluntary, and the decisions lie with town halls, which can apply the measure to entire beaches or parts of them. In Manacor, the tourism councillor, Maria Antónia Truyols, said yesterday that the measure is about increasing awareness, stopping people smoking and reducing waste on beaches.