A first national restriction of its kind in Europe, a blanket ban prohibiting smoking on beaches nationwide, will be introduced in Spain, if the legislature passed by the Spanish Senate this week is approved by the country’s government.
The new measure is part of the national Law on Waste and Contaminated Soil is considered by the government to be “one of the main pieces of legislation to promote the circular and low-carbon economy in Spain,” and is likely to become a new law.
The amendment, introduced by the Greens, gives local authorities additional powers “to establish limitations on smoking on beaches” in order to reduce cigarette butt pollution – a major problem for Spain’s vast coastline, which is a huge tourist draw.
Under the proposed law, offenders will be facing fines of up to €2,000 for smoking on Spanish beaches.
Some Spanish regions, such as Barcelona and the Canary Islands, along with smaller areas in other European countries, have already outlawed smoking on beaches, but this is understood to be the first national ban of its kind in European Union.
News of the Senate’s approval comes just as an online petition asking the government to introduce measures targeting smoking on Spanish beaches garnered over 326,000 signatures.