Palma.— The 23 specialist cleaning boats scooping up flotsam and jetsam from the beaches and coves of the Balearics removed 6'525 kilos (6.52 tonnes) of rubbish last July, a regional Environment ministry department reported yesterday.

The majority of rubbish consisted of plastics, 45.5% of the total, followed by wood (19.1%) with the rest being made up of various organic waste. Analysed by island, the nine boats working around Majorca retrieved 3.2 tonnes of rubbish; on Minorca, six working boats scooped up 1.84 tonnes; around Ibiza, a separate group of six boats collected 1.32 tonnes.

Great dependence is plPalma.— “We're seeing a rise in sales, which, according to the area, can be 6%, 8% or even 10% higher than takings last year,” representatives from major supermarket chains on the island said yesterday.

Attributing the increase in food sales to the rise in popularity of residential tourism on Majorca, the same sources said they were “very pleased” with the result.

Eroski and Mercadona supermarket chains agreed that the higher buying power of residential tourism has prompted sales figures to rise since the middle of July in tourist resorts.

The Corte Inglés department store said that sales of food stuffs were significantly increased due to tourist trade and particularly on Sunday at their branches in Palma.

Calvia, Cala Rajada, Alcudia, Pollensa, and Son Servera are the areas where residential tourism has most boosted food sales, said industry representatives. The rise in residential tourism is closedly linked to the historic number of passengers arriving at Palma airport, they claimed. Last month, a record number of visitors, nearly 3.5 million arrived on Majorca. aced by the tourist industry, especially the hoteliers' associations in the Balearics on the work carried out by the cleaning boats from the start of the holiday season.

The boats have specialised mechanical arms which can collect floating waste prior to it ending up in top bathing spots. There was concern expressed by the tourist industry earlier in the year that government cutbacks in cleaning would mean the boats would not manage to retrieve rubbish in time but the service has been kept running.

Fishermen also have an agreement with the Balearic government to pick up waste floating far out at sea and to bring it to port for selective collection.

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