Montenegro, along with Albania, is the biggest polluter of the Adriatic Sea with plastic, it was said at the workshop Plastic Waste Management – Fight against Marine Pollution.

The workshop, organized by the European Commission’s Technical Assistance and Information Exchange Instrument-TAIEKS and the Municipality of Budva, was attended by representatives of public institutions, local governments, local public companies and the non-governmental (NGO) sector dealing with waste management.

89 percent of the waste in the sea comes from the land

According to the EU Info Center, the director of the Directorate for Ecology of the Ministry of Urbanism and Ecology, Dusan Bugarin, said that 89 percent of waste comes to the sea from the land, adding that it is therefore necessary to start building regional landfills.

“Montenegro expects the adoption of a new waste management plan this year and the formation of a supervisory body that will supervise waste management in accordance with the legislation,” said Bugarin.

Worrying data on the degree of microplastic pollution

Sladjana Gvozdenovic Nikolic from the Institute of Marine Biology pointed out worrying data on the degree of microplastic pollution, in a research conducted by the Institute in cooperation with colleagues from Italy, Albania and Croatia through EU funds and instruments.

Gvozdenović Nikolić emphasized the need for preventive action, awareness-raising campaigns on reducing plastic waste, but also on the need for more efficient inter-municipal and regional cooperation, as well as stronger connections between state and local institutions.

She assessed that one of the key problems of Montenegro is the lack of recycling and the lack of a quality policy to encourage recycling.

Household waste treatment is important

The head of the Flemish Waste Management Agency’s strategy and policy department, Christoph Delater, emphasized that one of Belgium’s key successes in waste management is its impact on reducing household waste production, through legislation and campaigns involving citizens.

“In Belgium, municipalities are responsible for the treatment of household waste. “Their success in relation to EU regulations is reflected in inter-municipal cooperation, ie continuous work on establishing a quality communication process,” Delater said.

Stefan Trdan from the Water Institute of Slovenia, explained the importance of collecting data related to waste management and the way in which municipalities should manage this data.

Trdan pointed out to the participants of the conference the need for continuous education, which, in his opinion, would be an action aimed at lasting and sustainable results.

The head of the department for monitoring marine waste in the Ministry of Ecology, Ivana Stojanović, reiterated the need for stronger connections between all institutions, but also for the NGO sector to be actively involved in this cooperation.

The statement said that, at the invitation of the Committee of the Regions, the European Commission launched a pilot scheme for technical assistance and information exchange (TAIEKS) in 2018 to support local authorities in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.

As it is stated, since last year, TAIEX support has been extended to all countries of the Western Balkans.

“Initiatives will focus in particular on topics that are in line with the priorities and implementation of the European Investment Plan.” “The economic and investment plan for the Western Balkans will mobilize up to nine billion euros from EU funds for investments in areas such as transport, energy, green and digital transition,” the EU InfoCentre said.

Sustainable growth and new jobs

They added that the Western Balkans is a priority for the European Union and the Commission, and that it will create sustainable growth and new jobs.

According to them, TAIEX’s strategic support to local authorities will complement this investment, assisting local authorities in their efforts to improve waste management, digitize administrative procedures, support employment and more.

The EU InfoCentre said that “Plastic Waste Management / Combating Marine Pollution” is in line with the Green Agenda and environmental services, and the Municipality of Budva is one of the most important candidates.

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