Meet our members-let us be Macedonia!
Zero Waste Europe is pleased to introduce the blog series "Meet Our Members". Through this series of monthly interviews, we hope to give you the opportunity to learn about our members and the work they do.
Hi Blazhe, can you give us a brief introduction to Let's do it Macedonia!?
The organization was established to clean up 2,000 illegal landfills in the country and raise awareness of waste issues. After five successful nationwide clean-up activities, involving approximately 100,000 volunteers, we decided to focus on waste prevention rather than just dealing with its consequences.
Our goal is food waste because it is the largest waste stream in the country. More than 25% of the solid waste generated in Macedonia is organic waste, of which 40% is food waste. We have also noticed that food waste is the only resource that people think is not a one-off. The moral rule: "You don't throw food", still applies to many people.
Viewing the prevention of food waste as an opportunity not only helps the environment but also helps society, which persuades us to start studying the impact of food waste. The first message we found is that a quarter of the country’s population is suffering from hunger and we have thrown away 100,000 tons of very good food, most of which comes from agricultural surpluses.
This illogical fact prompted us to create an online platform to connect businesses and NGOs by redistributing surplus food. We also successfully obtained the first food surplus donation law in Macedonia.
In order to see Macedonia as a country that does not waste food, this work and more work has always been our focus.
How long have you worked in this field and what caused you to fall into (zero) waste?
I have been in Let's do it Macedonia since 2012. We have followed the zero waste principle since 2016. We enter the field of zero waste because this is the only way we have to fight back against the chaos we have fallen into and engage ourselves in the global waste disaster.
What is your current role in the organization?
I am the chairman of the organization.
Tell us more about an activity/event you are doing?
We are currently participating in the formulation of Macedonia’s first national food loss and waste prevention strategy.
If you want your organization to be known for one thing, what would it be?
Provide food and peach blossom festival for 10,000 people. The Charity Peach Blossom Festival was held in Skopje for the first time and cooked approximately 20,000 meals for disadvantaged citizens in society. These actions were very successful.
How would you describe the development of the zero waste movement in your country?
It is small and develops slowly, but it will appear over time.
Macedonia is a place where no food is wasted.
You can find more information about Let's do it Macedonia and its work here.
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