LAST month, Cullera (Valencia) banned smoking on its 15 kilometres of beaches.
The measure was approved at a council meeting in late July and as the No Smoking Flag was hoisted in the presence of the regional government’s Secretary for Public Health, Isaura Navarra, she declared that beaches were not ashtrays.
A month later Dumar, the concessionary that hires out beach umbrellas and sunbeds in Cullera, would no doubt have something to say about that.
In just one hour, in an initiative that had the backing of Cullera town hall, Dumar employees and volunteers removed more than 700 cigarette ends from the sand on Sant Antoni beach.
Dumar sources said afterwards that they were aware that the smoking ban still had a long way to go and they had decided to collect the cigarette ends to bring home to the public the need to safeguard the coast.
A cigarette butt can take at least nine months to biodegrade and it will also leach toxic chemicals, including arsenic and lead amongst others, into the environment, polluting the sand, sea and air.