Spain's Costa del Sol to introduce fines at popular holiday destination

Playa de la Malagueta beach with high-rise apartment buildings, Malaga, Costa del Sol, Andalusia, Spain.
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Malaga, a gem on Spain's Costa del Sol and a favourite among holidaymakers, is cracking down on beach pollution with new fines. The southern Spanish city is set to impose penalties in an effort to maintain the pristine condition of its coastline.

Beachgoers could face fines up to €750 (£635) across 25 beaches within Malaga's boundaries. The city council gave the green light to the initiative on June 21, targeting the environmental impact of the tourist surge during peak season.

However, these measures are pending a public consultation before they can be officially enacted. This move echoes actions taken by Vigo, a northern Spanish town, which two years ago started fining people for "physiological evacuation on the beach or in the sea" -essentially, urinating.

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In a bid to ramp up its clean-up campaign, Malaga is looking to increase fines from the current €300 (£254). Under the new rules, urinating on the beaches will be prohibited, but according to a city council spokesperson who spoke to The Guardian, fines won't apply to those caught short while swimming in the sea.

The spokesperson clarified: "The bylaw does not impose a sanction for peeing in the sea. It will not be applicable. The bylaw regulates possible antisocial infractions on the beach, just as any such acts are regulated in any public space such as on the city's streets.", reports Birmingham Live.

Aerial view of the city and harbour of Malaga in Andalucia, Spain
Malaga's city council will be introducing the new fines if it passes a public consultation -Credit:Getty Images

Repeat offenders who breach the new regulations within a year could be hit with a hefty fine of up to €1,500 (£1,270), as reported by Euronews. The fresh rules also suggest keeping dogs out of the sea and confining them to designated dog-friendly beaches.

The proposals also target antisocial behaviour on the beach, such as blasting loud music or playing ball games on the sands, and parasol-reserved areas will no longer be permitted. However, smokers and vapers can breathe easy as they'll still be allowed to light up on the beach, but litterbugs beware - fines will be issued for discarding cigarette butts or food scraps.

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