New law governing waste.

20-08-2010S.G. CAÑIZARES

Majorca's hoteliers have added to the list of challenges to the Balearic government's proposed new law governing waste. The food and drink industry has already made its submissions with regard to a prohibition of single-use plastics, and now the hoteliers are raising an objection to what would be a legal requirement to make drinking water from the tap free of charge.

The government's thinking is that this would eliminate plastic water bottles. The hoteliers argue that not all water companies provide water that strictly complies with regulations. In other words, tap water is sometimes deficient in terms of quality and its free availability would heighten health risks.

With the hoteliers having pretty much seen the back of the threat of false claims for gastric complaints, they don't now wish to face a situation in which they potentially face legitimate claims because of illness caused by water. In addition, the hoteliers claim that making water freely available will "trivialise" its supply, implying that this will inevitably lead to a reduction in quality.

A further aspect of the proposed law that the hoteliers are taking issue with is what would be an obligation on the behalf of hotels and restaurants to facilitate the taking-away of "doggy bags". This wouldn't apply to buffet service but would do to table service. The hoteliers are using the same health risk argument as with water to challenge this. Once out of a restaurant, there could be no control of food hygiene.