Minister of Environment and Nature Protection Slaven Dobrovic said on Tuesday that Croatia was not good in waste management and was at the bottom of the European average in recycling, but this can be improved significantly very quickly, announcing upgrades in the waste management system.
The system can be advanced significantly because citizens are quite informed about the problems, many participate in partially sorting waste and in some areas that is functioning very well, Dobrovic told reporters during the "Croatia Waste Expo 2016 conference," organised by the Poslovni Dnevnik business magazine.
Dobrovic announced changes to the system and said that the Waste Management Plan 2016-2022 was almost completed. He underscored that waste sorting plants, pressing machines and waste baling was vital in waste management.
We are aware that our economy has something to offer here and believe that the contribution of the domestic economy in waste management programmes will be greater, he added.
Minister Dobrovic announced that the state would offer special programme for household composting, waste separation, recycling yards - immediately defining financing schemes from European Union funds and helping local government units in designing projects and with the necessary documentation.
This year's Waste Expo is dedicated to circular economy, which is current, seeing that the EU has strategically opted for it. It envisages reusing and recycling products and raw materials.
"There are numerous advantages to circular economy: reduced independence on the import of raw materials, and Europe is a continent that is poor in that regard; reduced environment pollution; job creation - around 600,000 in waste management in the EU," Dobrovic underscored.
He added that late last year a new package on circular economy was presented in Brussels with far-reaching ambitions, one being that, by 2030, the EU should recycle 65% of its waste and that combined waste should be reduced to 10% of all waste produced.
Dobrovic underscored that Croatia was lagging behind in adopting regulations aimed at stimulating citizens to sort their waste and that many larger cities and municipalities still objected to primary waste sorting.
He added that he supported a hierarchy in waste management in accordance with a circular economy, a system that has proven to facilitate a sustainable cost of utility services, efficient resource management and job creation.