The Balearic Islands government has introduced a scheme encouraging town councils to contribute to a ‘network’ of smoke-free beaches.

The project aims to prevent the pollution of cigarette butts in natural spaces and avoid the danger and accidental swallowing of cigarette butts among children.

The government says cigarette butts contribute the largest product of marine waste, ahead of plastic.

The scheme is voluntary, meaning town councils can decide which areas become part of the network and whether it is the whole beach or only a stretch of coastal area.

The initiative, which is already underway in parts of Spain, will see materials being distributed to local councils around the islands and a web page created which will list the beaches and coastal areas which plan to take part.

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