Balearic Islands single-use plastic bans
Spain’s Balearic Islands collectively welcome over ten million tourists each year, resulting in huge quantities of waste that often ended up littering the coasts and sea. To tackle the problem, the government has taken a holistic approach, combining practical prevention and reduction measures at source with waste management strategies.
In 2019, the Balearic Autonomous Government approved sweeping legislation that, as of January 2021, will ban many single-use plastic products, including lightweight plastic bags, plastic cutlery, plates and straws, disposable razors and lighters, and single-use coffee capsules. In doing so, it aims to reduce the total volume of waste by 20% by 2030.
The law also makes producers responsible for waste collection and management, allows for deposit return systems (DRS) for beverage containers and incentivises sustainable consumption and reuse through green public procurement.
The Balearic Islands are going further than the EU single-use plastics directive by banning more items and setting more ambitious reuse objectives, thereby establishing a benchmark for European countries transposing the new directive into national law.