Skip to content

How the new Balearic Islands' sustainability laws could change your next holiday

Jan. 28, 2022
5 min read
Cala d'Hort beach Ibiza Spain
How the new Balearic Islands' sustainability laws could change your next holiday
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The Balearic Islands are spending a whopping $61.5 million on a new tourism initiative — putting sustainability at its core. It could be the wave of the future for many destinations.

By law, hotel bathrooms in Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca and Formentera will soon be required to ditch any miniature shampoos, shower gels and other bathroom knick-knacks that are considered single-use.

If you're the type of vacationer who likes to collect various tiny bottles of toiletry products, this might be upsetting. However, this will presumably mean that on non-budget bookings, hotel rooms will likely be stocked with larger products – so you hopefully won't run out of these amenities after your epic post-flight shower on day one.

Showers, baths, sinks and other facilities will need to install water-saving devices, and toilets will specifically be required to have double-push buttons.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for TPG daily newsletter.

Hotels will be required to limit their use of paper and plastics, such as swapping printed leaflets for digital QR codes. At the very least, this will mean you might have another app to download ahead of certain stays.

Hotels and other tourism businesses, such as bars, will have to optimize electric usage, make use of rainwater and switch oil boilers for gas or a natural energy source. The transition to eco-friendly boilers and electric usage will likely depend on where you're staying in how it affects your pre-cocktail pampering sessions, but we'd expect the obvious effects to be minimal for most.

Locally sourced food and products will become a top priority — particularly when it comes to fish. Seafood sourced from the Balearics will become traceable under the new law, while the sale of any endangered species is also banned.

In theory, this might also mean fewer big-brand products on tap, which might not feel ideal if you're the type that pines for home comforts on holiday. That said, it should be a boost for the local economy, and who knows, you could discover some new favorite products to rave home about.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Another interesting development is that existing beds in hotels will also be reviewed — providing new, elevated beds by 2023. This is a measure designed to limit workplace accidents for hotel staff.

Mallorca and the Balearics are focusing on sustainable tourism. (Photo by Danny Lehman/Getty Images)

How well hotels adapt to the new sustainable approach will be reflected in a rating — a new system that will be implemented to show which properties are embracing a more sustainable approach to operating, and which aren't.

The president of the Balearic Islands, Francina Armengol, said in a statement: “The tourism sector in the Balearic Islands is primarily interested in continuing to adopt cutting edge tourism innovation.

Related: Ibiza, Mallorca or Menorca: How to choose the right Balearic Island for your holiday

“The new laws bring together a series of measures which will allow a more inclusive and sustainable form of economic growth; an improvement to the cohabitation of workers, residents, and tourists; a more efficient use of resources; as well as boosting public-private collaboration, in line with the guidelines established for the allocation of European funds.”

Back in March 2021, environmental campaigners Plastic Free Balearics welcomed the government outlawing certain single-use items.

All four islands barred the sale of items such as plastic cutlery, coffee capsules, cotton buds and disposable razors. It's definitely worth keeping this in mind when you pack if you usually tend to pick these products up at your destination.

The water won't stay this blue if we don't look after our favorite destinations. (Photo by Alex/Getty Images)

At the time, the group said: “New regulations come into play as the Balearic Waste Law bans the sale, distribution, and use of various types of single-use products. Plastic Free Balearics welcomes this pioneering law and pledges to complement it through an ambitious certification scheme.”

Related: These are the best beaches in Spain

Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca and Formentera also introduced the Sustainable Tourism Tax in 2016, which charges travelers a small fee per night (varying depending on the quality of your accommodation).

The money is then put into environmental conservation, as a way to offset the impact of mass tourism during the summer high-season.

Because, well, the Balearics get busy. Very busy. Especially pre-pandemic. Back in 2019, a national survey of Spanish tourism showed that 13.6 million holidaymakers flocked to the archipelago over the course of one year. Statista also says that 3.7 million Brits visited the Balearics in 2019.

Featured image by Cala d'Hort beach in Ibiza, Spain. (Photo by Alex Tihonovs/EyeEm / Getty Images)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best luxury travel rewards card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

5X points
5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 Points
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$695

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for The Platinum Card® from American Express
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best luxury travel rewards card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 80,000 Points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees