An entirely tobacco-free area is being trialled on Ostend Beach this summer, announced Ostend’s mayor, Bart Tommelein, and aldermen, Silke Beirens and Björn Anseeuw, this Wednesday, according to Belgian media.
Named “Het Nieuwe Strand” (the new beach), the project will run from July 1 to August 31. The no-smoking zone will occupy a 200-metre strip of beach between Polé Polé Polé Beach Bar and Bondi Beach Bar.
However, the aim of the no-smoking zone is not to punish smokers, but instead to encourage more environmentally friendly tourism. “We want to raise awareness and communicate, not ban or fine. Anyone who lights a cigarette in the beach zone will be addressed by members of our ‘Beach Team’”, said Tommelein, Beirens and Anseeuw.
To encourage further environmentally friendly behaviour, drinking fountains providing free water for those with bottles, are also being introduced on the beach’s no-smoking zone.
Additionally, the citizens initiative “Proper Strand Lopers” will assist the project by cleaning the beach’s no-smoking zone every evening.
The Brussels Times