Plastic bags with a single use are destined to be outlawed in Palma. | Josep Bagur Gomila

Palma councillor Neus Truyol had suggested that traders' associations were in agreement with the town hall's proposed ban on the issuing of plastic bags for single use. The agreement depends on which association is being referred to, given that there are three of them which represent smaller retailers.

Afedeco rejects the move, Pimeco wants more time for the measure to be applied (it is not due to come in until the start of 2018), and Pimem is in favour. They are agreed on one thing, though, and that is that the town hall hadn't sat down with them and informed them of the decision.

Rafel Ballester of Afedeco says that his association is against any prohibition and especially so when it has been arrived at without consensus. How many trees, he wonders, will need to be cut down in order to create paper bag substitutes. The association is also annoyed by the new fines related to rubbish that are envisaged under the bylaw. "Once more, this attacks a sector instead of there being measures which favour its activity, such as improving street cleaning, something which, it would seem, concerns the president of Emaya (Neus Truyol) rather less."

Pimeco's president, Bernat Coll, is in favour of increasing recycling and greater environmental care, but he believes that getting rid of plastic bags by the start of 2018 gives shops too little time. He is calling, therefore, for later introduction and for the opportunity to talk with the town hall about economical alternatives: ones which won't represent increased cost to small retailers.

Antoni Sampol, president of Pimem-Comerç, supports the decision and its defence of the environment and local business. His association, he says, will work with the town hall in seeking consensus among all those affected. He adds that he will be talking with the industrial wing of Pimem in order to find economical substitutes for plastic bags.

The bylaw would still allow plastic bags for reuse and for loose products, such as supermarket fruit and veg.