Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — Two public beach areas in Playa del Carmen have officially become non-smoking thanks to the efforts of local government organizations.
Coral Jesus Horacio Aguilar, director of the Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone (Zofemat), said that Punta Esmeralda and Playa Caribe no longer permit smoking as part of a program to help better care for the environment as well as promote respect for non-smokers. The new program was put together with help from Municipal Health.
Signs have been put into place notifying those that enter these beach areas that smoking is not allowed. People who ignore the signs and lite up will be removed from the beach and possibly face a fine.
Horacio Aguilar says these two beach areas have strong family influences.
He also says that last year during the annual beach clean up, more then 10 kilos of cigarette butts were removed from Punta Esmeralda alone. He says the beach was known to have this problem and was often referred to as Playa Colillas (Butts Beach).
Part of the initiative to generate smoke-free beaches has come from the International Coastal Clean-up, who noted that last year, they collected more than 20,000 cigarette butts and added that one cigarette butt can pollute up to 50 liters of water.