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Baleares creates a certification for plastic-free hotels

06/24/2021 at 8:33 AM CEST

Crusade against plastic in the Balearic tourism industry. A campaign promoted by conservation entities, with the support and sponsorship of public institutions and private foundations, has created a certification that will recognize those hotels, restaurants and other businesses that dispense with disposable plastic. In addition, a monitoring system will make it possible to verify that the commitments made by the hotels are actually fulfilled.

The initiative started two years ago in Ibiza, where the Ibiza Plastic Free entity created a seal that distinguished commercial establishments (especially tourist ones) that cut with disposable plastic.

Depending on how far their effort went, they got more or less star from the campaign. In the other islands, there were also entities that work in the same field, such as Save the Med in Mallorca, Menorca Plastic Free and Formentera Plastic Free.

Now, the strategy has been unified and this certification program has been updated, making it more complete and reliable, thanks to the joint initiative of two conservation entities strongly supported financially by private foundations: Ibiza Preservation and Save the Med, the latter in Mallorca. Apart from this, the Beyond Plastic Med Foundation in Monaco has also provided funding.

Through a scale of 1 to 5 stars, hotels, restaurants, bars, shops and all kinds of businesses can become Plastic Free Guardians. This will give visibility to your effort to free yourself from single-use plastic.

An app will serve to punctually monitor the degree of compliance of the commitments acquired by each establishment. In addition, the distinction that is awarded is valid for one year, at the end of which it must be renewed if the objectives have been met.

The coordinator of Plastic Free Ibiza, Ayelén Alonso, recalls that the imminent entry into force of the European directive and the Balearic law that prohibits certain single-use plastics still leave ample room for action. In fact, “the goal is to move towards zero residue & rdquor ;, he says.

“We want to go further. That is why we encourage companies not to limit themselves to single-use plastic & rdquor ;, points out the head of Ibiza Plastic Free.

In addition, the regulations on this type of waste continue without prohibiting certain single-use plastic utensils, so it will be the awareness of each employer that allows to overcome the limitations of the laws.

“Nor do we accept as a valid alternative bioplastics & rdquor;, due to the doubts they generate about its true sustainability, Ayelén Alonso clarifies.

“This joint initiative will allow us to take our islands towards a more sustainable future for all. With more demanding requirements and a more ambitious goal, we hope that many companies will join us to lead this project in our islands & rdquor ;, says Alonso.

Only on the island of Ibiza there are already 62 certified companies between the years 2019 and 2020. Among them there are large hotels with a high number of rooms and thousands of customers each year, but there are also small cafes or shops that are committed to completely dispense with plastic.

In total, there are many thousands of disposable plastic utensils that have not been distributed by these companies, which means that the sea (where many of the plastic waste ends up) has got rid of a huge amount of these elements.

In Mallorca the new joint certification is having “very good reception & rdquor; and it already has several companies that have been interested in it as soon as its existence is made known.

Entrepreneurs in the Horeca sector (hotels, restaurants and cafes) in the Balearic Islands emphasize that it is the customers themselves who are increasingly demanding less plastic in the service they are offered. Therefore, ending with this highly polluting material is no longer only seen as an environmental gesture, but also as an attraction for the business itself.

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