Archive for June 13th, 2010
Arona Says, We Will Fight Them That Light Them On The Beaches

During my Tenerife sea swims I am often assaulted by many and various items of rubbish, one of the smallest and most annoying is the humble cigarette butt. I tend to see these more on the beach than in the water, mainly because they get easily swept out on the tides. I must admit I have never been a smoker so can’t say that I would clean up after me, but I like to think I would.

Arona council has just announced that they intend to bring in fines of up to 3,000 euros for dropping fag ends on their beaches. The councillor for the environment Antonio Sosa insists that it is time that people treated the beaches with more respect, and I’m all for that. Providing this plan doesn’t get scuppered like Arona’s unworkable plan to ban all smoking on it’s beaches, it wont come in until after this summer.

The council are proposing the measure to clean up the look of the beaches but there are other problems caused by ciggie butts. Years ago when at The Western Sun, I was shown some very unpleasant photos of an autopsy on a dolphin. The stomach was full of rubbish, mush of it cigarette butts that expand as they soak up water, the dolphin then swallows them and they fill its stomach preventing it from eating.

If this all sounds really heavy, it needn’t be, there is a very easy solution, just pick up your old cigarette butts. Many of the beach side Tourist Information Offices already give out free plastic cones for smokers, you embed the stem in the sand and have an instant ashtray and the butts just drop into the stem for emptying once you reach a bin. The council are prepared to make even more of these cones available free, so really there will be no excuse.