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Keeping Ibiza and Formentera green and clean

How to do your bit.

Posidonia in the sea of Ibiza and Formentera; the plant keeps the waters clean and crystal clear. Photo by Manu San Felix

Whether you have come to Ibiza for some hardcore clubbing or a fun-filled family adventure or have gone to laze beach days away on Formentera, we are sure you will get many cherished memories. To keep those recollections and continue to have new ones on these islands, we feel it's now time to give back and help protect their natural beauty for all our future holidays.

In this article, we will cover:

  • Waste and what to do about it - clue, don't just leave it to someone else
  • How the three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) will help us kill that waste
  • Ibiza Spotlight's easy guide to recycling on Ibiza

Like any other major tourist resort, Ibiza and Formentera, both face the challenge of dealing with large amounts of waste, especially in the summer months.

There are lots of ways in which you could help and they don't even have to be big measures: just a couple of minutes of your time could make a huge impact on the islands' waste creation. By carrying out these small actions, you are starting a chain reaction, one that will have positive impacts for years to come. Are you ready?

Keeping the beauty in hearts and minds. Photo by Jon Izeta

The Ibiza Preservation Foundation (IPF) has been at the forefront over the years in supporting projects aimed at preserving Ibiza and Formentera's idyllic surroundings, inviting residents and holidaymakers to help protect their natural ecosystems.

Most recently it has been behind the development of Plastic Free Ibiza and Plastic Free Formentera, helping the hospitality trade to reduce, then eliminate the use of single plastics.

IPF director Sandra Benbeniste, notes her concerns on waste on Ibiza and Formentera:. ‘'Recycling is important, but as a first step we need to reduce the amount of waste we generate. As more and more visitors arrive to the islands each year, so too does more and more waste.”

By implementing just some of the small changes outlined above, the IPF believes that we can reuse over 80% of the waste on the two islands.

Manage your waste

Here we outline the three smart steps we should all take to manage waste. Don't worry if you aren't doing all of these items yet, they are things to aim for. Start small and build up.


The most important first step in managing what we consume is cutting down on the rubbish we each create. For small islands, this is extremely important plus it means you won't need to make as many trips to the recycling bins. Here are a few easy ways to get you started.

  • Bring your own snacks - first and foremost, take your own home-made food with you for your flight instead of buying items in plastic trays, like sandwiches and salads. Of course, avoid wrapping your meal in single-use plastic packaging.
  • Go paperless - save paper by downloading vital travel documents such as your boarding pass and hotel reservation straight to your phone. The majority of the clubs on Ibiza will grant entry with your tickets purchased from Ibiza Spotlight. Just click on the link in the email you receive after completing the sale and show the people on the door the bar code in the top right hand side. Also, by using Ibiza Spotlight as your one-stop guide, you'll avoid picking up paper-based magazines and newspapers.
  • Bring your own shopping bags - reduce the waste of plastic bags by bringing your own reusable shopping bag. More and more shops are working on eliminating the use of plastic bags. Local fashion store La Sirena is swapping out plastic for paper and right now gives you a free reusable fabric bag when you make a big purchase.
  • Shop local - fruit and vegetable markets offer fresh local goods and save on excessive packaging, even more so if you take your own bags.


With some clever thinking, you can find reusable alternatives for disposable items that would otherwise go to waste, at home and on holiday. This forward thinking attitude of reusing can not only reduce your waste but in the long run save you money too - it's a win-win for everyone.

  • Reusable water bottles - for holiday water buy an eight litre bottle (garrafa in Spanish) then top up a reusable water bottle for when on the go. As well as minimising plastic use, buying water in larger volumes is often cheaper overall - that means more money for sangria.
  • Reusable travel-size containers are perfect for decanting toiletry products before you set off on holiday. Ideal for the light-packing Ibiza weekender. It also means you can avoid picking up those plastic freebie toiletries in hotels.
  • Say no to plastic - say no to plastic straws in bars and restaurants, get yourself a reusable bamboo or steel alternative. Bamboo is also your best choice for reusable cutlery and plates for picnics.


If you have reduced and reused where possible, you should have less waste and it still needs to be managed. Now is the time to recycle.

  • Recycle what you can - if there is no alternative but to use single-use products, make sure at least that you take your waste to your nearest recycling point. More information in our guide below on how to recycle on Ibiza.
  • Use recycled - when you are shopping, check product packaging to see if it is made from recycled materials. For example, international sports brand Nike is known for incorporating recycled materials into its clothing and footwear ranges and most manufacturers will indicate on the label when recycled materials are used.
  • Pick up litter - when on the beach or out in nature - or indeed anywhere on Ibiza or Formentera - grab your reusable bag, lend a hand in picking up the discarded litter then take it to your nearest recycling point. With just a few minutes work, you'll have made a big impact

Our Guide to recycling on Ibiza

Recycling bins and how to find them (and use them)

You are never too far from a row of recycling bins in the streets of Ibiza. Look below to see what goes where.

Each colour represents a different recyclable material and will be labelled in both English and Spanish. Only grey is general waste. Make sure to take care to place the right items in each bin.

Yellow bins

Plastics including water, shampoo, shower gel and cleaning product bottles, yoghurt pots, egg boxes, plastic wrapping, crisps' and snacks' packets, freezer bags etc

Metals such as tin and aluminium, including metal jar lids, metal wine bottle caps, aluminium trays, aerosols.

Tetra packs, or briks in Spanish should be avoided, see “What?” below

Green bins

Any tyoe of glass bottle such as those for wine and water, perfume, and food jars

Blue bins

Paper can be recycled from newspapers, magazines, paper bags and books

Cardboard, including cereal boxes, shoe boxes, cardboard egg boxes, food packaging - fresh and frozen

Grey bins

General waste such as leftover food, mix material products and disposable nappies. Anything metal or plastic that is not packaging; glass, such as broken drinking glasses or window; broken toys.

Not everything can go into recycling, so here are a few things to watch for.

  • We all love a takeaway pizza on return from a night in Ibiza's clubbing scene. However, once greasy, cardboard boxes are not recyclable. Instead pop them in your nearest general waste bin.
  • Packaging such as tetra packs (a "brik" in Spanish), eg juice and milk cartons, mix plastic, paper and aluminum and are not a green alternative. Moreover, they cannot be recycled, merely downcycled. Try to avoid them.
  • Cracking open the first bottle of wine on holiday is a great feeling, it only takes moments to throw away the lid or cork as these can't be recycled with the bottles. The same goes for glass jars - keep those pesky lids out of the way.
  • Make sure to give containers that have had food in them a good rinse before taking to the recycling bins, this helps greatly with recycling.
  • Medication bottles and containers should always be disposed of in a punto sigre bin at the local chemists. Any unused medication should also be taken here.
  • Although the global initiative Plastic Free July is almost over, there's no reason why you can't start to cut down on plastic. Try it for a month of your choosing and then at the end, keep going.


More waste management tips from the Ibiza Preservation Foundation can be found here.

A complete guide to what you can and cannot recycle can be found on the Consell Insular's website.

Note: the correct timetable for the various recycling points island-wide as well as their locations, or "ubicacio" can be found on Deixalleries Eivissa website.

As you can see, going green can be as simple as making a few small changes to your attitude on holiday, on Ibiza or anywhere else in the world.

Finally, remember to support local Ibiza businesses who are actively working at being greener Check out our selection of eco-friendly businesses on Ibiza.

With your help, we can make a huge impact to Ibiza and Formentera, keeping them serene and pristine for the future. What's stopping you, get started today!

MAIN IMAGE | Ibiza and Formentera's Posidonia meadows by Manu San Felix

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