Published on : Friday, February 2, 2018
This law has been made effective from 1 February by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Bannaruk Sermthong, a director at the Office of Marine and Coastal Resources Management said that smoking and cigarette-butt littering are prohibited on beach areas. Any visitor who would like to smoke should do it in the designated smoking areas and not on the beaches.
The move comes after the ban was trialed on 20 beaches in the provinces of Phuket, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chon Buri and Songkhla, including Koh Samui and Pattaya. The pilot launched in October 2017 after Jatuporn Buruspat, head of Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR), reported his team had collected up to 138,000 cigarette butts on a 2.5km stretch of Patong beach in Phuket. DMCR pointed that cigarette butts accounted for a third of all beach waste.
The designated smoking areas on the beach have containers where they can drop the cig 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.