Overcrowding in terms both of people and cars is now one of the main environmental concerns in the Balearics.

This is a finding from the third “Ecobarometer” survey conducted by the Balearic Institute of Social Studies (IBES) and Tirme, the waste-treatment company, in association with Sa Nostra. It is one of the novelties of this year’s survey and coincides with a record tourism season during which residents of the islands have detected a noticeable increase in the summer population.

In previous surveys, dirty streets and fire risks have been the main environmental worries, but these have dropped in the ranking. “People are very sensitive to the current situation,” notes Gonzalo Adán of the IBES. Consequently, sea pollution appears third in the ranking, reflecting the publicity given to the amount of plastic waste that has come to the Balearic shores from Algeria. By contrast, mobile phone antennae and genetic modification are low concerns.

As to those who should solve these environmental problems, almost a half of respondents said that politicians should be responsible. However, this shows a decrease compared with previous surveys, as the need for the general public to act responsibly has risen. Those surveyed also gave increased weight to the roles of environmental organisations and companies, though both these trailed behind politicians and the public.