In a bid to keeps its busy beaches free of cigarette butts Larnaca municipality has acquired dozens of eco ashtrays.
The Larnaca tourist board, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation and the municipality are placing ten stands with the biodegradable plastic cups at strategic points on the town’s busiest beaches.
Each stand has written instructions, 100 ashtrays and a special waste bin.
Visitors can pick up the plastic ashtray-like cones and stick them in sand or pebbles for the duration of their stay. When leaving, smokers are expected to empty their ashtrays in the bin and put them back on the stand.
The action is aimed at fighting pollution as cigarette butts ends up being unintended food for much marine fauna and can be deadly for marine species.
Unlike paper and tobacco which are biodegradable, a filter is made up of 95 per cent synthetic cellulose acetate polymer, a substance that breaks down very slowly and thus damages the environment for a long time.
A cigarette butt may take up to five years to break down into seawater, while polluting the water with poisonous chemical substances such as cadmium, arsenic and lead.
The effort is also meant to enhance environmental awareness and improve cleanliness and hygiene on Larnaca’s beaches.