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Eilat first city in Israel to ban disposable plastics on beach

Lawbreakers can be fined up to 730 shekels ($210).

Garbage and plastic bottles on the beach. Credit: Pixabay.
Garbage and plastic bottles on the beach. Credit: Pixabay.

Eilat became the first Israeli city to pass a bylaw banning the use of disposable items from its beaches.

The ban, approved by the Eilat City Council on Wednesday, forbids people from bringing disposable items onto the beach—whether made of plastic, aluminum, cardboard, paper or any other material—and prohibits the sale of all disposable products at kiosks or restaurants by the shore.

Lawbreakers can be fined up to 730 shekels ($210).

The bylaw, which exempts bottles, needs to be approved by the interior ministry before taking effect, according to The Times of Israel.

“The city of Eilat on the Red Sea coast greatly depends on its natural resources, including the hills around it and the Gulf of Eilat, with its rich and unique coral reefs. These resources are inalienable assets for Israel, Eilat and its residents, and a focus of global tourism,” the text accompanying the bylaw stated. “One of the most important threats to the nature values in the area, especially the sea, is disposable products, particularly disposable plastic goods. These are a serious hazard to health and the environment, and damage the city’s facade and the value of its tourism product.”

The text added that disposable items break down on land and in the sea “into particles of various sizes that harm marine and land wildlife, which misidentifies plastic and particles as food, or gets entangled in them and dies from strangulation or internal damage.”

Disposable items are also “an eyesore” on land and the sea surface.

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