Croatia should start using the money at its disposal for waste management efforts as soon as possible, Croatian member of the European Parliament Davor Škrlec said at the 5th edition of Croatia Waste Expo 2017 that took place in Zagreb earlier this October.
Right now, Croatia has EUR 475 million available from the Competitiveness and Cohesion Operational Programme, obtained after the adoption of the Waste Management Plan for the period 2017 to 2022 in January this year.
Croatian media reported that the most important topic at the Croatia Waste Expo event this year was the demand of the European Union that member states undertake a transition to the circular economy.
“The key position of the European Parliament in this area are the compulsory separate collection of bio-waste, the reduction of food waste, the maximum disposal of five percent of municipal waste, the ban on mixing hazardous waste, and the gradual elimination of particularly worrying substances,” said Škrlec, indicating that the circular economy could be the driver of the economic development and new employment.
The editor-in-chief of Poslovni dnevnik, Vladimir Nešić, the founder of the Expo, said that the message to be sent from the gathering is that “Croatia has the knowledge, the will and the technology needed to achieve the set of environmental goals. It is crucial to consolidate and make good use of the opportunities ahead of us”.
Civil society organizations get involved
Few days later, the Croatian Society for Sustainable Development Design (DOOR), organized in Velika Gorica “Good governance – smart waste management, as an example”, the conference that gathered the most important stakeholders in a matter of sustainable development, from academics to ministers and media representatives, from environmental experts to civil society organizations in order to discuss the importance of citizens’ participation in development and implementation of public policies related to the environmental issues.
What is missing in the whole effort, at this stage of dealing with waste management, is informing and educating citizens about their contribution. It is up to local governments to inform, educate and stimulate citizens how to collect, separate and bring waste to recycle yards, the statement said.