The large number of cigarette butts on Greek beaches and streets is causing grave concern among people who want to protect the environment and their health.
At a beach in a southern suburb of Athens, many holiday-makers were seen smoking while enjoying the sea and the sunshine. Some of them left cigarette butts on the beach after smoking. As a result, cigarette butts dotted the beach as far as one could see.
"Cigarette butts that are randomly disposed of are harmful to children’s health, to the beach environment, and to the sea," said Elena, a tourist from Russia.
Smoking in public is banned in Greece, and the No Smoking law has been enacted for seven years. However, visitors still smoke and leave cigarette butts on beaches.
Nearly 22 billion cigarettes butts, totaling 3,500 tons, have been left by smokers in Greece. And half of them have been left on the beaches along the country's coastline, according to the Greek Cancer Society (GCS).
"Every time I go to the beach, I collect rubbish. When I find it, I collect it. Why? Because I like clean beaches, clean sands, clean sea," said Dillian Cowes, a Greek doctor.
The GCS called on smokers to refrain from leaving cigarette butts on the country’s beaches.
However, only a few collect rubbish and put them into bins.
Echoing the GCS' appeal, Cowes urged those who smokes to will take cigarette butts seriously.