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Drink tap water, don’t use plastic bottles: making a plastic-free Ibiza a reality

We all know we need to cut down on plastics. Drink tap water, don’t use plastic bottles: making a plastic-free Ibiza a reality.
Kate Benyon-Tinker, Ibiza Preservation

We all know we need to cut down on plastics, but it’s not always easy, especially in a place like Ibiza. Take the case of bottled water, for example. Contrary to popular belief, the tap water in Ibiza is, by and large, drinkable, but with the myth persisting that it isn’t, residents and visitors alike often opt for mineral water, which mostly comes in plastic bottles. If you live on the island, you can check the safety of the supply with your water company or local town hall; if you’re visiting, confirm with the people who manage your accommodation whether the tap water is safe to drink. If it is, using a refillable bottle is one very quick and easy way to cut down on plastic consumption

Ibiza’s famous nightclubs are one of the island’s key generators of plastic waste. According to an industry insider, one 3,000-person capacity club gets through around 400,000 bottles per year. Finding suitable alternatives isn’t always straightforward, but deposit and return systems with potential to sell branded “merch” have been successfully rolled out in other locations. As a world-class clubbing destination, Ibiza surely has the potential to help lead the way and set an example for the rest of the planet to follow.


1. Encourage Ibiza’s nightclubs to ditch plastic bottles.

2. Request a glass or jug of tap water wherever possible to avoid generating more waste.

3. Carry a reusable water bottle with you and refill it from the tap or designated fountains. 

4. If drinking water isn’t available, buy large containers of mineral water instead of lots of smaller bottles.


1. According to Cleanwave Foundation, 1.5 million plastic bottles are consumed every day in the Balearic Islands. Over a year that adds up to more than half a billion. 

2. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that plastic bottles can take 450 years to break down in the ocean.

3. Tetra Paks or other drink cartons are a worse option than plastic bottles as they contain layers of plastic, cardboard and aluminium and are therefore incredibly difficult to recycle. Aluminium cans are 100% recyclable if disposed of correctly.

4. Even when recycled, plastic bottles are rarely turned into completely new bottles. According to Zero Waste Europe, new plastic bottles placed on the market contain an average of just 17% recycled PET material.  

5. By law, hospitality establishments are required to offer customers free drinking water so long as the safety of the supply is guaranteed by the water company or town hall in question.

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