09/22/2010 07:57 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Italy Bans Plastic Water Bottles Along Heritage Coastline

Hikers and tourists visiting one of Italy's most scenic stretches of coastline have been banned from carrying plastic bottles of water amid fears that the area is being "buried" in rubbish.

Instead they will be asked to pay one euro for reusable, metal flasks which can be filled up from newly-installed public water fountains.

The quaint Italian villages, terraced vineyards and precipitous cliffs of the Cinque Terre in the country's north-west attract three million visitors a year.

However, as well as enjoying the region's wine, food and stunning views, the tourist hordes discard two million plastic bottles, some of which tumble down the cliffs and end up littering local beaches and polluting the sea.

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