Macedonia is still far from its goal of recycling 60 percent of packaging waste by the year 2020 and the Association of Secondary Raw Materials Collectors and Recyclers wants to increase its cooperation with local communal services companies to reach that goal. Association official Iko Bredaroski told a meeting at the Macedonian Chamber of Commerce that significant investments are needed in both equipment and infrastructure and in raising awareness.
“In order to meet these national goals, which are seriously high, we need investment in infrastructure, in containers and in raising public awareness and education on packaging waste. As operators we have invested over the past five years in more than 5,000 large and 3,000 smaller containers across the country,” he said and warned that the goals can’t be achieved given the current situation.
Bredoroski said Macedonia was lagging far behind the rest of the region in terms of investments and opportunities. He said developed European countries invest about EUR 10 per capita annually in protecting the environment and that the countries of the region invest about EUR 2 per capita while Macedonia invests around EUR 0.5 per capita.
According to Association of Secondary Raw Materials Collectors and Recyclers, a total of some 25,000 tons of packaging waste was collected and recycled in the year 2016. The goal set by the Macedonian authorities of 60 percent of recycled waste packing means that recyclers in the country have to reach the level of more than 65,000 tons of paper, various types of plastic, glass, cans and wood in the next three years. The Association said that between 6,000 and 7,000 waste containers for recycling should be put up around the country in the next three years.
Macedonia currently has 1,300 companies registered as members of waste collection and recycling systems but just one third of them are obliged under the law to handle packaging waste.
Officials of the Association of Secondary Raw Materials Collectors and Recyclers said more effort should be invested in raising public awareness about the importance of waste selection, collection and recycling.