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Balearics move to ban disposable plastics in bid to clean up coast

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Balearics move to ban disposable plastics in bid to clean up coast
Photo: photkas/Depositphotos
12:45 CET+01:00
The government of the Balearic Islands have announced plans to ban the sale of all disposable plastics by 2020 in a radical move to rid the sea and coast of plastic detritus.

Items commonly used across Europe will be outlawed under the new legislation, including plastic cups, straws, disposal lighters and coffee machine capsules.

The everyday plastics will be phased out by 2020 in what is the most radical response to the plastics crisis that has left the world’s seas choking with waste plastics.

A target to recycle 65 percent of urban waste by 2035 was agreed by the European council and parliament in December and now awaits a vote of approval by member states.

The new leglislation in the Balearic Islands, which covers the popular holiday islands of Mallorca and Ibiza, will insist throwaway products such as wetwipes are properly labelled to prevent them being flushed away.  A build-up of such products was blamed for a rupture in the sewage system in Ibiza’s Cala de Bou.

According to a recent report by Greenpeace, the Mediterranean alone has accumulated 1,455 tonnes of plastic with 75 percent of rubbish collected on Spanish beaches being made of plastic.

"Our territory is limited and environmentally sensitive, while an economy mainly based on tourism sends the use of such items spiralling", explained Sebastiá Sansó, director general of the region’s environmental department.

"We want to be fully recyclable by 2020," he said.

It is the latest move by the Balearics’  socialist led coalition government to make the islands more sustainable and comes in the wake of measures to curb and control mass tourism.

Last year, the offer of 'doggy bags' at Mallorcan restaurants were made compulsory in a bid to reduce food waste. 

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