Every year, 15 million tourists come to the Balearic Islands to enjoy the beautiful sea. But can you imagine that in the same time, 500,000 tons of rubbish is accumulated annually on the four Balearic Islands alone. The Balearics have the problem that they do not know where to put the ashes that burnt from the garbage. So far, the ashes have been stored in huge stores, but no later than upcoming May, they will be full.
Now, The Balearic Government needs to put an end to this disposable culture. The Mallorcan Ministry of Environment and Agriculture put aluminum coffee capsules, disposable razor blades, ear buds, plastic utensils and non-rechargeable cigarette lighter on the prohibition list. Also, lollipops have to be made of wood as in the 1970s. The plastic ban even applies to toothpastes with micro plastics or nano particles. A special problem are wet wipes for the toilet, which get into the sea via the sewage system. Last summer, a large amount of such wet wipes arrived with the ocean tides at some of the bays of Ibiza and onto the city beach of Palma.
With its new waste law, the Balearic are far ahead of other autonomous regions in Spain. “It improves our environment, and we have to be faster than the European legislation,” said Sebastià Sansó, director of the Institute for Environmental Education and Waste Management for Spanish newspapers.
The fact is, this is a Europe-wide problem. Every year, 26 million tons of plastic waste are accumulated on the continent, of which hardly, statistics say, a third is recycled. The rest ends up in the dumping sites or in the countryside. Worse still, plastic production continues to increase thanks to low oil prices.
“If we do not change our policy, we will have more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050,” said Jyriki Katainen, one of the vice-presidents of the European Commission to the Spanish daily newspaper El Mundo. However, instead of relying on a plastic ban, he prefers to recycle the plastic. Katainen believes that with the complete recycling of plastic waste, there would be 70 to 105 billion euros profits.
Clearly, people in the Balearic Islands do not share his idea. What is your opinion? Do you think waste prevention is better than waste recycling? Tell us your ideas and become part of our movement! Together we can change the world to the better!