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Ibiza bans disposable plastic.
Waste Waste Household

The Balearic Islands group - where Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca are part - wants to get rid of disposable plastic. A plan by the government to ban the sale of disposable plastic from 2020 should save tourism on the islands, reports The Telegraph.

Approach plastic waste for sustainable tourism
Ibiza plastic bottles on the beach
The disposable plastic is plastic that loses its value after a single use. These include plastic cups, plates, cutlery, straws and coffee capsules. These plastic items must be replaced with alternatives that are easy to recycle or biodegradable.
The ban must make tourism on the islands sustainable. The beaches are becoming increasingly polluted with plastic waste. The impact of mass tourism has also been addressed by setting a ceiling for tourist beds and increasing the daily tourist tax.

Microplastics in the Mediterranean

According to a Greenpeace report last year, the Mediterranean region has been flooded with 1,455 tons of plastic. The environmental organization also claims that between 21 and 54 percent of all microplastics worldwide are located in the Mediterranean. Microplastics are plastic balls that are not visible to the naked eye. The mircoplastic waste is mainly caused by the decomposition of larger plastics such as packaging.
During the Volvo Ocean Race sailing competition, a team of researchers also took samples from different sea areas to examine them on microplastics. The data collected from waters between Lisbon and Alicante showed that there are more than three million plastic microplastic particles per square kilometer of the water. In the South Atlantic, south of South Africa, this was more than one and a half million microplastic particles per square kilometer and in Australian waters one million microplastic particles per square kilometer.

European disposable plastic policy

The Balearic Islands are not the first to ban disposable plastics. Costa Rica announced in mid-2017 that it would banish disposable plastic within four years. The European Commission (EC) is coming later in the year with proposals to reduce the use of disposable plastic. Figures from the EC show that only 5 percent of the value of plastic packaging material is retained after use. The rest is lost, which costs Europe between € 70 and € 105 billion per year.

By: Joyce de Thouars