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Barcelona's beaches are set to become one idea more pristine from 1 July 2022

As of 1 July: no more smoking on Barcelona’s beaches

As of 1 July: no more smoking on Barcelona’s beaches

Breaking the rule could set you back some 30 euros

On the first day of July, the regulation banning the smoking of cigarettes on the beaches of Barcelona officially entered into force. This will apply all year round and not only during the tourist season, with a view to creating healthy, clean and more appealing public spaces on the Catalan capital’s coastal stretch. Infractions to the smoking ban will be sanctioned with up to 30 euros.

This makes Barcelona the first Spanish city to implement such a move. The prohibition on smoking, however, does already exist on hundreds of beaches across Spain after a national law allowed municipalities to implement such measures. In that respect, Barcelona will be fairly lenient to offenders, as other beaches have imposed much steeper penalties.

For example, people caught lighting up on three beaches on the island of Mallorca will have to fork out up to almost 2,000 euros. The beaches in question are Santa Ponsa, La Romana (Paguera) and Carregador (Palmanova).

Smoking is a question of pollution

A European directive from 2019 pointed out the problem with cigarette butts and their slow degradation, and that they are "the second most common plastic pollutant on beaches". It served as the basis for the Spanish law, which relegated the powers to impose bans and fines upon local authorities.

The beaches of Barcelona have a total length of about 5 kilometres and an area of ​​240,000 square meters. In the warm months of the year, they are visited by nearly 4 million people, of which families with children are nearly 10%.

In that view, the city authorities carried out a pilot test last year in order to study the effectiveness of a potential ban and the way it would be received among the general population.

The pilot test’s results showed a significant reduction in the percentage of people smoking on the beaches and the number of cigarette butts left on the sand. The initiative received a satisfactory score, more than 8 points out of 10, from the beaches’ users.

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