Waste management has found itself becoming a more and more popular theme in recent years. Plastic polluting the world’s seas and oceans has become a critical matter for all, and many countries have now passed laws in order to try to curb the problem before it’s too late. Separating waste properly is one small but effective thing the ”average Joe” can do at home – where does Croatia really stand on the matter?
As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes on the 4th of October, 2019, proper waste management is a matter of not only economy and cost, but is also a huge social issue – what we leave for generations to come, as was said at the opening of the eighth Croatia Waste Expo 2019, which is being held today in Zagreb, and is organised by Poslovni Dnevnik.
Vladimir Nišević, Editor-in-Chief of Poslovni Dnevnik said that the issue of waste management through events such as Waste Expo has had light shed on it in this way for six years now.
“There are no major rapid developments in this sector, so this event is also important as a place of dialogue, which something that is often lacking in our society. Therefore, the theme and this event is not [necessarily] what it is now, but what it could become in the coming period, as we try to move away from the political noise that often diverts our attention from what is important, and place the focus on some things and passions that may be in the background,” Nišević said.
Sanja Radović Josić, Head of the sustainable waste management division of the environmental impact assessment and sustainable waste management department at the Ministry of Environment and Energy, emphasised that waste management has long been a part of the circular economy and affects the entire economy and society.
“The waste management plan is a whole cycle from the generation, disposal, processing and recycling and reuse of that waste as industrial or energy raw material. Existing EU regulations imply that by 2020 we will recycle 50 percent of paper, plastic and metal, and 75 percent of construction waste. However, last year, a new regulation was adopted up until 2035 that raises those standards by 10-15 percent,” she explained.
She added that in the Republic of Croatia, we currently recycle about 30 percent and dispose of 70 percent of our waste, and the EU directive says we should dispose of a maximum of just 10 percent, which indicates that we are still far from the target. EU funding has been used to equip recycling yards and 23 waste management centres, as well as the entire tank and vehicle infrastructure for that system.
“In order to comply with EU regulations, we have had to bring in the dynamics of closing existing landfills that don’t meet European Union or national requirements. There are also measures to reduce plastic that ends up in the sea, which is primarily to do with reducing disposable plastic for food and drinks, bags, drinking bottles, earbuds, etc.” emphasised Sanja Radovic Josic.
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