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French ski resort is first in Europe to ban smoking on slopes

There will be five designated areas where visitors can still light up

Helen Wilson-Beevers
Friday 16 December 2022 09:37 GMT
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This move takes effect from 17 December
This move takes effect from 17 December (Getty Images)

French skiing spot Les Gets is introducing a smoking ban, which will take effect from Saturday 17 December.

The resort, in the Haute-Savoie department of France, will be the first European ski resort to make such a move.

Visitors will be able to smoke in Les Gets village, with a ban to be enforced on the ski slopes and ski lifts.

It comes as part of a plan to make the resort tobacco-free where possible, aiming to protect Les Gets from the pollution caused by cigarette ends being discarded on the slopes and ski lifts.

In a statement published on the resort’s website, Les Gets says: “In 2022, more than 3,000 cigarette butts were collected in the ski area and in the village during the “Clean Mountain” day.”

“In France, about 20 to 25,000 tons of cigarette butts end up in the wild every year,” Les Gets continues.

Although it will be the first ski town in Europe to implement a smoking ban, they have been introduced in certain resorts across North America, Japan and New Zealand.

From Saturday onwards, cigarette breaks will only be allowed in five designated areas of Les Gets, although throwing a cigarette butt onto the ground will be forbidden.

Ashtrays and rubbish bins with ashtrays will help to combat this, say authorities, who hope to minimise the amount of discarded cigarette ends on the ground.

Les Gets says 75 per cent of cigarette butts are found at bars, restaurants, hotels and shops. As part of the new initiative, the resort is working with environmental brand Tree6clope, which “aims to fight against pollution generated by cigarette butts.”

A statement from Tree6clop explains: “The butt is a non-biodegradablewaste, which remains indefinitely in the environment. [It] can however be recycled/valued if collected selectively.”

“The objective is for each establishment to store the butts in a container provided to it, before being recovered at the end of the season by the Treecyclope association,” says a statement from Les Gets.

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