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, they dotted the beach as far as the eye could see.
Smoking in public is banned in Greece, and the No Smoking law has been in place for seven years.
However, nearly 22 billion cigarettes butts, totaling 3,500 tonnes, have been dropped by smokers in Greece, half of them 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.
But the GCS say only a few people bother to collect them and put them into bins.
They are urging people to take their cigarette butts seriously and refrain from leaving them on the country’s beaches.