The certification initiative launches a guide aimed at the hospitality sector to facilitate purchasing decisions with a lower environmental impact
Since June 2021, Plastic Free Balearics has certified 49 establishments, which plan to eliminate almost 6 tonnes of plastic waste from the supply chain
Balearic Islands, 16 March 2022 – On the eve of the anniversary of the ban on single-use plastic products in the Balearic Islands, Plastic Free Balearics is calling for more incentives for companies to opt for reusable alternatives and more measures against bioplastics to avoid so-called false solutions.
The Plastic Free Balearics certification, an initiative even more ambitious than the law itself, aims to help hospitality companies on the four islands to eliminate single-use plastics and provides the sector with tools to facilitate its implementation.
The “Guide to Honest Alternatives to Single-use Plastics for the Hospitality Sector” is one of the main tools developed by the project, and its launch coincides with the anniversary of the implementation of the Balearic Law 8/2019 on Waste and Contaminated Soils, which was brought in on 20 March 2021. This regulation bans the sale, distribution and use of single-use products such as disposable plates, cutlery, glasses, cups and food trays made of plastic, as well as plastic rings on six-packs of drinks.
“From our experience, the Waste Law has helped to remove many single-use plastics from the business supply chain. We recognise its positive impact, but Plastic Free Balearics wants to go further by encouraging companies operating in the hospitality sector to replace single use plastics with reusable options,” says Myrto Pispini, the project coordinator.
A guide to combat greenwashing
The Honest Alternatives guide, which is now available for free download from the plasticfreebalearics.org website, is an anti-greenwashing tool based strictly on environmental criteria, namely a quantitative index that rates products according to their degree of impact on the environment. “In this way, it helps companies not only to comply with the Waste Law and European directives, but also to lead the change towards a circular economy and contribute to the regeneration of the archipelago,” says Jaime Bagur, project manager.
The new guide identifies those alternatives that have less environmental impact, as well as “false alternatives” such as bioplastics. The aim is to facilitate purchasing decisions in the hospitality sector and to promote awareness of the real and honest alternatives, which result in a lower environmental impact, according to scientific evidence.
This new tool is co-financed by the Consell de Mallorca and the Monaco-based association Beyond Plastic Med (BeMed). BeMed has also co-financed the development of the Plastic Free Balearics certification, an initiative created and promoted by the Save the Med and IbizaPreservation foundations, with the participation of Plastic Free Ibiza and Formentera and Plastic Free Menorca. The certification aims to reduce plastic pollution throughout the Balearic Islands.
Since the launch of its pilot phase in June 2021, the project has evaluated 106 establishments from the hospitality sector throughout the Balearics, awarding a 1-5 star certification to those that have eliminated single-use plastic products and replaced them with so-called “Honest Alternatives”.
“The certified companies have shown great interest in taking action. Their role consists of breaking very deep-rooted patterns and they need the collaboration of large suppliers to fight against greenwashing, but in general, they have adopted a real commitment to plastic-free management, something that is simply no longer an option,” states Bagur.
With the 49 establishments certified to-date, almost 6 tonnes of plastic waste are already expected to be removed from the supply chain. An analysis carried out by the initiative’s technicians reveals that 65% of the certified companies – which include hotel chains, restaurants and cafeterias – have opted to offer drinks in glass bottles and drinking water either filtered or from the tap in reusable bottles.
On the other hand, Plastic Free Balearics has identified more difficulties in substituting single serve options for sugar, pepper and salt shakers, as well as in the implementation of deposit and return systems or BYO (Bring Your Own) policies for some products, such as cups, glasses and take-away food containers.
IbizaPreservation’s director, Inma Saranova, adds, “In Spain, according to Greenpeace, only 25% of plastic packaging is recycled. Therefore at IbizaPreservation we insist on the need to keep reducing waste and on the importance of implementing reusable alternatives.”