The city decreed that coconut husks, tossed aside on beaches by locals and tourists alike, are a nasty eyesore and as of Dec. 1, sale of the fruit is banned on the sand, AFP reports.
"Go on Ipanema beach at the end of the day and you'll see a mountain of coconuts that people have left on the sand. What attracts rats most to the beach are coconut husks," Jovanildo Savastano, the official in charge of the beaches, told AFP.
He said up to 30 tons of empty coconut shells are found each day.
Beachgoers who can't imagine a day on the shore without coconut juice can still get it in bottles or cans.
"This ban favors companies more than the people," environmentalist Gerhard Sardo told AFP.
Some environmentalists say the coconut husks don't pose an environmental threat because they are biodegradable, and that it's a healthy snack. Rio's mayor Eduardo Paes has offered to reconsider the coconut ban, but only if beachgoers promise to take their trash -- and coconuts -- with them when they leave.
What do you think of the coconut ban? Let us know in the comments below.