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Zero Waste speeds up in Croatia after Zelena akcija / Friends of the Earth Croatia Conference

After Zelena akcija / Friends of the Earth Croatia Conference , zero waste in Croatia accelerated.

On Wednesday, February 24, representatives of the city of Prelog and the six surrounding cities signed the European "Zero Waste 2020" at the Prelog Conference organized by the non-governmental organization Zelena akcija / Croatian Friends of the Earth and the public waste company PRE-KOM "strategy. When signing the strategy, local authorities, already leaders in the field of sustainable waste management in Croatia, pledged to achieve the ambitious goal of 70% separate collection of waste by 2020.

The meeting was attended by Minister of Environment and Nature Conservation Slaven Dobrović, Assistant Minister Lidija Runko Luttenberger, Head of Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund Sven Muller, Assistant Minister of Enterprise and Trade, Mayor of Međimurje, related mayors, heads of districts, public The representative of the company and Zero Waste Europe. Eighteen NGOs from the Croatian Zero Waste* Network also attended the meeting. After the meeting, the NGO met with Assistant Minister Luttenberger to discuss the topic of promoting sustainable waste management in Croatia.

Zelena akcija / FoE Croatia drafted the seven local authorities of Nieder Megemje (Prelog City, as well as the districts of Goričan, Donji Kraljevec, Sveta Marija, Donji Vidovec, Donja Dubrava and Kotoriba, with more than 25,000 residents ) Managed to collect more than 50% of waste separately in 2015. Since this puts them at the top of Croatia’s ranking of individual waste collection and recycling, signing the International Zero Waste 2020 strategy is a logical next step.

Siniša Radiković, Director of PRE-KOM, commented:

“We hope that by accepting this strategy and implementing Zelena akcija’s recommendations, 70% of useful waste will be collected and processed separately by 2020, the landfill volume will be less than 30%, and the volume of landfill waste will be reduced to 50% per inhabitant per year. Below kilograms, this is within the scope of the most successful cities and regions in the world."

The Minister of Environment and Nature Conservation Slaven Dobrović said:

"Thank you for making our task easier, and that is to continue to change the waste management policy of the Republic of Croatia. So far, the policy has been to mix and burn waste-thank you, because you have shown that another way is possible." .

Erika Oblak, representative of the European Zero Waste Network and Zero Waste Coordinator of Slovenia, emphasized:

"Based on the experience of many zero-waste communities in the world, success requires three elements: political support, good management, and a commitment to achieving higher goals. The town of Prelog and surrounding areas have proven that they have all these ingredients. I hope the rest of Croatia The community will soon join them and benefit their residents and the environment."

Bernard Ivčić, Chairman of Zelena akcija (Friends of the Earth Croatia) said:

"Lower Međimurje showed that in a relatively short period of time, it is possible to create a high-quality waste management system and become a good role model for others. I am proud that Zelena akcija's analysis has contributed to this success. This shows that Government organizations have relevant knowledge, and when the authorities are ready to listen to well-proven suggestions, they can achieve significant results."

In order to fulfill the commitments in this strategy, the Međimurje Waste Management Committee was established, which includes the local waste management company and Zelena akcija. Zelena akcija will work with Zero Waste Europe to monitor progress towards the goal and assist in the implementation of measures to prevent, reuse and recycle waste.

At the meeting between the Croatian Zero Waste Network and the Assistant Minister, Zelena akcija Waste Management Program Coordinator Marko Košak and the Croatian Zero Waste Network introduced the current state of waste management in Croatia. Erika Oblak from Zero Waste Europe introduced the Zero Waste Europe network and the success of specific cities and regions. Ms. Luttenberger introduced the priorities of the Ministry of Environment and Nature Conservation in implementing a quality waste management system. Non-governmental organizations put forward opinions on the problems in the system and made recommendations for a new national waste management plan planned to 2021.

The main message from NGOs is that the new plan needs to ensure the long-awaited transition from mixing and burning waste to reducing, reusing, separating and recycling waste, just as Prelog and neighboring regions have done. The Assistant Minister made it clear that the Ministry will ensure that the system is changed for the benefit of the people and the environment, and environmental organizations will play an important role in this process. Minister Dobrovic expressed a similar view during the meeting. "The problem in Croatia is huge, so I welcome non-governmental organizations that actively promote the concept of zero waste. We all have a common task, even if it has not been so until now. From now on, the problem will be solved by sitting at the table and all suggestions will be reviewed."

Zelena akcija believes that with the implementation of the proposed measures, the city of Prelog will achieve its ambitious goals in 2020. We hope that other public waste companies, with the assistance of experts from non-governmental organizations and the support of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Energy Efficiency Fund, can also follow the example of Meymurj to promote their waste management system, while meeting the needs of residents and the environment.

More information about its 2020 strategy and commitments can be found here.

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