The City Council of Valencia are in talks to prohibit, or at least control, smoking on the beaches in the city and further into the Comunidad Valenciana.
The main motivation for the initiative is the environmental impact that cigarette butts have on the beaches and in the sea. A cigarette butt takes up to ten years to degrade and are becoming a scourge on the world’s oceans with cigarette butts found ingested by a number of marine animals and caught up in coral reefs.
There are hundreds of campaigns throughout Spain to collect the cigarette butts from the beaches and some of the images on social media show thousands piled up from just a small stretch of sand.
Most smokers have no objection to the ban, a recent poll suggested. Designated smoking areas, more ashtrays and personal responsibility were some of the ideas suggested to keep everyone happy.
Until the legislation is passed, it is the responsibility of smokers to take a container or an ashtray with them to the beach and take their cigarette butts with them when they leave the beach.