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Mallorca aims to cut waste by 200,000 tons 

Mallorca has declared war on waste and will tell the millions of tourists who visit this year to clean up their act.

Holidaymakers will be encouraged to ask for free tap water at hotels rather than buy plastic bottles, to hang their towels up in the bathroom so they don’t need to be re-placed, not to smoke on the beaches or at least take their butts and ash home and to shun plastic bags.

Hotels will also use com-postable drinking straws, cocktail decorations which are recyclable and ban soap bars in rooms in favour of dispensers.

There will be a veto on single use plates, cups and cutlery and left-over food will be transformed into organic matter.

The tough new measures are all part of the new Waste Law just approved by the Balearic Government which aims to reduce the 800,000 tons of waste by ten per cent (600,000 tons are produced by Mallorca) by 2020.

Hotels and holidaymakers are seen as the biggest targets, with environment councillor Sandra Espeja saying: “The waste in Mallorca multiplies by four during the high season”.

This means that between 40 per cent and 60 per cent of the garbage produced on the island comes from tourism.

Figures from Mallorca’s council reveal each person, including tourists, generates 615.9 kilos per year.

In the kitchens of the hotels and each guest creates 0.67 kilos of waste per day. This could produce 33 million kilos of compost.

Major Mallorcan hotel chains are already leading the way with various measures to reduce tourist waste.

With a “Don’t leave your towels on the floor” cam-paign, it’s estimated that the number of washes can be cut by half.

Iberostar has also elimi-nated balloons from its entertainment shows.

Every municipality in Mallorca will have to comply with the new laws so the effects will be felt in all of the popular holiday resorts.

The Balearic Government says the measures are vital to tackle a problem that causes environmental damage and go beyond the targets re-commend-ed by the European Commi-ssion.

On top of the ten per cent reduction aimed for by 2020, the target for 2030 is a 20 per cent in waste.

This will require the replacement of many of the disposable plastic products with more sustainable alternatives, such as plastic table-ware and drinking straws. Plastic rings on cans or drinks bottles must be of bio-degradable material and only the distribution of very light compostable plastic bags will be allowed.

By 2020, single-use coffee capsules, infusions, broths and others used in coffee makers must be manufactured using easily recyclable materials. In addition, manufacturers or distributors of wet wipes that are offered on the market in the Balearic Islands will have to incorporate information about the effects of these products on the environment. Likewise, municipal rules will have to incorporate measures of prevention and minimisation of the abandonment of waste on the beaches, like tobacco ash or their containers.

The distribution of drinks in disposable containers in public institutions will be prohibited and in public events that have support from the adminis-trations, alternatives to the sale and distribution of packaged drinks and disposable drinks must be introduced.

Hotel and restaurant esta-blishments will always offer customers the option of consuming unpackaged water that is suitable for human consumption, for free and complementary.

Mallorca council has set up a special body to oversee the measures and says: “The best waste is that which is not generated.”