Minister Vidal (second left) at a meeting with the town halls' federation. | CAIB

The cabinet yesterday approved the text for the Balearic law on waste. Environment minister Vicenç Vidal said that the law is expected to be passed by parliament before the end of the government's term in office. He described the law as "courageous", adding that it contains practical and realistic measures for tackling waste but which will require the support of the public, business and public authorities.

The law is in line with European Union targets for waste reduction - 10% less than was produced in 2010 by 2020 and 20% less by 2030. Numerous plastic products are to be eliminated, such as straws, while biodegradable materials will replace shop packaging for fresh products by 2020. In that year, a ban on single-use plastic bags will come into effect.

Town halls will need to modify or introduce bylaws in order to, for example, establish measures against cigarette ends on beaches. Public buildings will need to have drinking water sources.

A further target will be a 50% reduction in the food discarded by shops, bars, restaurants and public establishments such as schools and hospitals. Mechanisms for distribution to soup kitchens and charities are to be established.

By 2030, the plan will be to have 75% recycling of packaging, with a maximum of ten per cent of waste going to landfill.

Fines under the legislation will range, obviously depending on seriousness, from 300 to two million euros.