Boats scoop up waste, much of it plastic, from coastal waters in the Balearics. | Govern Illes Balears

The Plastics Waste Free Islands project is to be presented in Minorca on Tuesday. The International Union for the Conservation of the Mediterranean (UICN) will explain pilot schemes which are being undertaken, for which Minorca and Cyprus have been selected.

The project has identified tourism, fishing and waste management as subjects for the exchange of best practice in respect of the use of plastics. The UICN will be in charge of measures designed to be "effective and quantifiable" in reducing the impact of plastic waste in the areas around Minorca and Cyprus. For Minorca, it will collaborate with the Minorca Socioenvironmental Observatory.

Representatives from the Council of Minorca and organisations such as the environmentalists GOB will take part in the presentation. The coordinator of the UICN Mediterranean marine programme, Marine-Aude Sevin, says that it is an ambitious initiative as it seeks to involve a wide range of interested parties, which include governments and industrial concerns.

Central to this initiative is the use of "one of the most recent scientific methodologies" for designing strategies based on data for "drastically reducing plastic contamination of the sea".

Eva Marsinyach Perarnau of the observatory in Minorca believes that the project fits perfectly with Minorca's Biosphere Reserve status, adding that there is growing concern about the marine environment. "This project is an opportunity to contribute to its conservation and to our sustainability."