Balearic legislation will be designed to avoid different causes of food waste. | Jaume Morey

The Balearic parliament will this year pass new legislation designed to reduce waste. The law, to give it its full title of waste and contaminated soil, will cover a range of items, among them plastic cups and cutlery, single-use ink cartridges, drinking straws, lollipop sticks, non-rechargeable lighters and supermarket single-use plastic bags.

A key part of the legislation will be the way in which it intends to tackle food waste. The government's director-general for environmental quality and waste, Sebastià Sansó, says that it is absurd that so much effort and money goes into food production, only for a great deal of it to end up in rubbish bins. With this in mind, bars and restaurants will be obliged to provide customers with leftovers so that they can take away food that they haven't eaten. Sansó notes that this often happens anyway, but that once the law is in place, it will have to happen. It would seem, however, that customers will still need to ask for a doggy bag. (Will the doggy bag need to be biodegradable?)

Another measure concerns supermarkets. They will be prohibited from throwing away food that is in good condition. There will also be collection of excess food from the likes of schools and hospitals. This will be used for social care centres.

Consumers are to be targeted as well. Sansó wants to change habits and so there are to be awareness-raising campaigns. An aspect of this is that consumers can buy more than they actually need, especially at festive times, don't use it and then chuck it out.