Balearic Islands: new law on waste and contaminated soils

Wide range of single-use items banned to meet the waste hierarchy

Reducing the amount of waste generated at source is regarded as the highest priority according to the Waste Hierarchy established in the Waste Framework Directive. Waste prevention is closely linked with improving manufacturing methods and influencing consumers to demand greener products and less packaging. Law 8/2019 of 19 February on Waste and Contaminated Soils of the Balearic Islands has a deep impact on prevention of waste banning a wide range of single-use products. As disposed in this new piece of law, from 1 January 2021 the following restrictions will apply in the Balearic Islands:

  • Commercial establishments will not be able to distribute one-use-only plastic bags, only compostable ones will be allowed;

  • Use, distribution and selling of one-use-only plastic plates, glasses and cutlery will be forbidden, while compostable ones will be allowed;
  • Use of single-dose food packaging and single-use tools in the HORECA sector for the consumption of food or drink at the same place will be forbidden, except cellulose ones.

  • Plastic straws, lollypop sticks and cotton swabs will only be able to be commercialised and distributed if they are made of compostable materials;
  • Coffee cups, herbal teas and beverages containers sold at the Balearic Islands will have to be made of compostable materials or easily recyclable ones (organically or mechanically)
  • Distribution and selling of products containing microplastics and nanoplastics; non-reusable and non-rechargeable toners and cartridges for printers and photocopiers and models of lighters which cannot guarantee at least 3.000 effective lights will be forbidden;
  • Distribution of beverages in single-use packages will not be allowed in buildings hosting public services;
  • At public events, including sportive ones, supported by the public sector, alternatives to the selling and distribution of single-use beverages and single-use glasses will have to be available and access to non-packaged water, or water in reusable bottles, must be guaranteed;
  • The HORECA sector establishments will have to offer free non-packaged water;
  • On 1 January 2025, distribution and selling of non-rechargeable shaving razors will be prohibited. Rechargeable ones will also have to be made of recyclable materials.

Compliance with these restrictions is supposed to contribute to reduce the generation of waste in the Balearic Islands and to mitigate the appearance of some waste categories detected on our beaches throughout the marine litter surveys already conducted during the studying phase of the BLUEISLANDS project.   

More info (in Spanish):