The Plastic Free Menorca Alliance is a joint agreement signed by the Menorca Preservation Fund, the Menorcan Institute for Socio-Environmental Studies-Observatory of Menorca, GOB Menorca, the Association Leader Isla de Menorca and Per La Mar Viva. The project has been launched this September with a starting budget of 24,500 euros for the first year, although it is hoped that the project will be able to get further continuity should the problem require it.
This alliance has been impulsed by the Menorca Preservation Fund which realised that there were a large number of initiatives being carried out on the island in the fight against plastic pollution and that it would be useful to make a common, coordinated and agreed front. As a result, the MEPF , along with the other 4 entities in the alliance (the Institut Menorquí d'Estudis, GOB Menorca, the Asociación Leader Illa de Menorca and Per la Mar Viva) have been working on this project for more than a year, although it is not until today that this collaboration has been formalised with the signing of the agreement, where each of the five entities assumes specific commitments.
The Alliance has set itself four initial objectives for this first year of work. On the one hand, it wants to create a certification process for small and medium sized companies on the island in order to support these businesses in reducing their use of disposable plastics. This is a major milestone, as the new Balearic Islands waste law, effective from 2021, will make it obligatory to eliminate a number of disposable plastic products such as plastic tableware, single-dose food products or lightweight plastic bags, among others. The Plastic Free Menorca certification process will consist in providing support and technical advice in the reduction process carried out by interested companies and recognition through badges, social networks and the project's website. In addition, the alliance aims to develop a list of local suppliers and businesses offering alternatives to single-use plastics, favouring the local and sustainable economy. Another important task in this first year of the project is to carry out environmental information actions with diverse actions such as creating a guide on alternative materials and the creation of a website and the project's Instagram and Facebook social networks as a direct channel of information and communication with the population. The Alliance also wants to act as a platform of coordination amongst the different organisations and projects aimed at reducing plastic pollution on the island to ensure these are coordinated and not duplicating each other’s efforts.
With regard to the commitments made by each entity, the Menorca Preservation Fund will be responsible for hiring the project's coordinator and funding 10,000 euros for the first year. The Institut Menorquí d'Estudis, through the Socio-environmental Observatory for Menorca, will define a system of indicators with the data that arise s from the project, will advise and support in further fundraising opportunities and collaborations and will provide 500 euros in fungible material. Per la Mar Viva, will make their network of volunteers available to the alliance for actions and awareness raising events. The Asociación Leader Illa de Menorca will contribute 4,000 euros to the project's expenses and GOB Menorca, is making available all the organisations knowledge and experience available to the Alliance. Also, all the entities ainvoved are committed to offering their spaces for meetings and work sessions, offering their own personnel to carry out actions, access to computer resources and disseminating the actions carried out from the Alliance through their websites and social networks. In order to maximise the projects resources.
In addition, and without who’s support the project could not have gotten off the ground, the Marilles Foundation have agreed to finance the first year of the project with a further 10,000 euros, which has been essential in enabling the alliance to formalise its work and launch the certification process.
Montserrat Compa, researcher of the Oceanographic Institute
Marine residues and microplastics