Freelancer, self-employed, entrepreneur whatever you like to call it, Ibiza is a hotbed of small business owners. Working from home, car, café or a co-working space like theHUB, this island is bursting with people getting their hustle on. 

With the environment being a hot topic on everyone’s lips, I am sure this Summer we will see some really positive changes to how businesses operate in regards to their impact on the environment, especially here in Ibiza.

theHUB co-working space prides itself on being aware of its plastic and environmental effect and is a keen advocate of the Cleanwave water initiative and the Plastic Free Ibiza & Plastic Free Formentera programs set up by the Ibiza Preservation Foundation.

Sam (theHUB co-owner), Ibiza Preservation Foundation, Plastic Free Ibiza & Susie Pearl during their tactical meeting at theHUB.

Many other businesses here on the island are getting on board with Plastic Free Ibiza – they help to encourage, support and promote businesses that sign up to their 3-star scheme. It’s a great visual way to show customers that a clients business is aware and committed to the plastic problem we have on the island. 

So what can you do if you are a smaller, more transient, nomadic business owner to reduce your plastic consumption?

Ibiza is great for networking, making friendships and connections face-to-face with other business owners. For me, and I am sure most others here that don’t have a physical/official workspace, meetings are usually in cafes over a coffee and single-use plastic can often be difficult to navigate.

Here are 5 tips to help you reduce plastic in your daily life….

  1. Use a Reusable Bottle
    Sure, you can go out and buy a fancy new drinking bottle but if you are a little forgetful in taking it out with you even reusing an old plastic bottle over and over does the trick. The goal is to reduce our consumption so if you can get 10 more uses out of your Evian bottle then that works. If you are looking to invest in a new drinking bottle take a look at www.cantiplora.com or www.cleanwave.org
  2. Check the Cleanwave.org Map
    Find local businesses that will refill your bottle with drinking water for free or a small charge!
  3. Drink In/Reusable Mug
    Take time to enjoy your coffee, sit down and have it in a mug instead of a disposable cup with a plastic lid or invest in a reusable coffee/tea mug for drinks on the go. 
  4. Reusable Straw
    Paper straws get soggy, “eco” plastic straws are often not as eco as you would think; only biodegrading at high temperatures. So invest in a stainless steel telescopic straw that you can use on the go, has a cleaning brush and folds down into a handy key ring.
    And when ordering a cold drink, specify you don’t want a straw (sin pajita).
  5. Say NO to Plastic straws/sugar sachets/condiments
    Following on from tip 4 – You have the power! If all that is available are individually wrapped sachets of sugar, try your coffee without. Better still ask them if they have another alternative? YOU are the customer and if enough of us refuse this single-use plastic, businesses will have to listen and make these very easy changes.

The problem of plastic and how we deal with waste is huge – but it isn’t something we will be able to change overnight. The way we do things is so ingrained in the behaviour of our and our parents’ generation – it is all we have ever known. We need to unlearn these bad habits that have become the “norm” and be aware that every decision we make no matter how small has a direct effect on the environment and our future. Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes but do what you can do, be proud and know that…


Amber Urquiaga – Founder of Coco Isla – Online low waste ecofriendly shop based in Ibiza. www.cocoisla.com