May 17, 2022 7:01 am

Smoke-free beaches

Following the trend observed in different holiday centers around the world, since this summer in Pinamar they rule fines for smoking on the beach. The measure that establishes the areas where cigarettes cannot be lit was approved in 2019, but the first two years were used for publicity campaigns.

The Deliberative Council of the seaside resort had then approved an ordinance that prohibits smoking in a large part of its beaches by establishing that they must be identified with a sign that indicates “Smoke-free beach.” It was also arranged the installation of ashtrays that mark the place where you can smoke. Between them there should be 100 to 150 meters of distance and you can only smoke within a radius of five meters from these containers.

Awareness in Pinamar: more and more people are making use of ingenuity so that the beaches are free from contamination by cigarette butts I Love My Beach Project

The measure was presented by NGOs I love my beach Y Big Human Wave in order to preserve coastal areas and avoid the tremendous pollution produced by cigarette butts. It was driven by the surfer and businessman Gaston Hike, who also managed to turn the Buenos Aires spa into the first city in the country free of straws and single-use plastic cups.

The same residents of Pinamar encouraged the enactment of the ordinance concerned about the aesthetics and hygiene of the place where thousands of people attend, as well as the environmental issue. Among other considerations, they argued that when the beaches are cleaned, the most frequent garbage is cigarette butts, both in the sand and floating in the water.

Start from a very young age: Bautista, eldest son of the well-known youtuber @belulucius, learns to pick up cigarette butts in Necochea
Start from a very young age: Bautista, eldest son of the well-known youtuber @belulucius, learns to pick up cigarette butts in Necochea

Since the 80’s, Cigarette butts represent up to 40 percent of all the waste collected per year by cleaning companies on coasts and urban areas in the world order. An estimated 4.5 trillion is thrown away per year. It has been proven that a single one can contaminate up to 1000 liters of drinking water and 10 of salt water due to its more than 7000 toxic substances. An NGO report Ocean Conservancy revealed that cigarette butts are the most polluting waste on coasts and oceans. They take more than 12 years to degrade and include compounds such as acetone, ammonia, arsenic, polonium or radioactive elements that have devastating effects in contact with water and that, progressively converted into microfibers, can be ingested by marine fauna to end up in our body as food. .

With the same purpose of promoting beneficial habits for health, quality of life and the environment, reducing pollution and improving the image of their respective coasts, the deliberative councils of Puerto Madryn, Rosario and Santa Fe replicated the decision adopted by the people of Pinar del Río. .

The issue already far exceeds the health of smokers and those around them. The fate of our battered planet is at stake. Provisions that have as their cause the fight against smoking, the promotion of healthy habits and the protection of the environment are welcome.

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