A first for Belgium: Bredene to experiment with smoking ban on the beach

Smoking-free beaches: it doesn't exist in Belgium yet, but the municipality of Bredene will be the first to start an experiment, i.e. during the months of July and August, Bredene Mayor Steve Vandenberghe (socialist) announced. 

The debate has been going on for a while: wouldn't it be time Belgium picked up the idea of smoking-free beaches, like abroad? Things are moving, but slowly: Bredene will start a pioneer project, but only on a stretch of beach, and only during the busier summer months. 

Steve Vandenberghe is citing pollution and public health reasons. He calculated that an estimated 400,000 cigarette ends are left on Belgian beaches on the busiest summer days. "Cigarette butts are topping visitors' nuisance list. We experimented with special ash trays, but found that many cigarette ends are still left on the beach." 

The Mayor adds that this experiment will especially have an effect for awareness, to make people think about the problem.