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Let’s take control of waste management! – ZaGOspodarimo otpadom

27.11.2018. Around 600 representatives of regional and local authorities, and of utility companies attended today’s interactive conference entitled ZaGOspodarimo otpadom (Let’s take control of waste management!), which was organised by the Ministry of Environment and Energy in cooperation with the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency.

“We wish to stress that for us at the Ministry, 2018 has been the year in which lots of infrastructure was built, which was instrumental in achieving the rate of waste sorting of 30% or more, but we have to make even more significant progress in the next two years. We have ambitious goals and the ongoing tenders, as well as the ones in the pipeline that the Ministry and the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency are planning to launch, will allow us to build all the necessary infrastructure”, said Minister Ćorić.

Joanna Drake, Deputy Director-General in DG Environment of the European Commission, also voiced support for the measures and activities that Croatia is implementing in the process of establishing a sustainable waste management system. "Croatia is a country with a winning spirit, which you show in the sports fields, and I’m sure that in this field as well, with maximum efforts from all stakeholders, you can reach the goal. The transition to the circular economy is a great opportunity to transform the economy in general, and it opens up the possibilities for new investments and jobs”, pointed out Drake.

To the question of Croatia’s being at risk of penalties, Drake replied that it takes a while to get to that point. "That is the final measure. In the meantime, before we even consider fines, a lot can be done through the financing of different measures, implementation of the best practices, and raising public awareness. Croatia has intensified these efforts, and they should have priority”, she said.

The journalists asked the director of the Fund, Mr. Dubravko Ponoš whether Croatia could do better in the sorting of waste, to which he replied – One can always do better – and continued: "I believe that the most important thing is to notice the positive atmosphere in the field of environmental protection and waste management that was created when Minister Čorić took office, because we finally have a clear path ahead of us, we know what we are doing and how to do it”. Ponoš stated that not long ago we had the situation where the concept was frequently changed, which actually meant that we didn’t have a goal nor did we work towards one. When you set the goals, you have to take account of the real situation on the spot. Ideal but impractical solutions do not resolve the problem; on the contrary, they just generate new issues. That is why the Ministry and the Fund set clear and realistic goals, and together with all units of local self-government and their utility companies, we are working towards achieving them. An important part of this whole system are the citizens, because we won’t succeed without their participation and motivation. That is why education and communication with all stakeholders in the system is of the utmost importance. We wish to focus all our energy on what we have to do, and then we’ll see how far it takes us. We believe that all of this will lead to the situation with no penalties”, stated Ponoš.