The Association Sunce, in cooperation with WWF Mediterranean, has completed project Plastic Smart Cities Croatia, aimed at reducing plastic waste in the sea. The project lasted two years, and as partners participated the cities of Dubrovnik and Trogir, which contributed to the reduction of the plastic footprint in different segments of social life and the local community, and encouraged the use of alternative solutions for single-use plastics.
The project started with an invitation for participation, that was send to 82 adresses of coastal municipalities and towns from 4 Dalmatian counties. As many as 16 municipalities and cities have expressed their interest in cooperation, while 11 municipalities and cities took the second step, filling out the questionnaire about their the waste management system.
After the conducted questionnaire, the cities of Dubrovnik and Trogir were selected as project partners. Based on the available data on waste management for individual cities, an Analysis of the current state of waste plastic management and the use of single-use plastics for the city of Dubrovnik and the city of Trogir has been created. Consequently, an Action Plan to Reduce Plastic Pollution in the City of Dubrovnik 2021 – 2026has been developed, as well as Action Plan to Reduce Plastic Pollution in the City of Trogir 2021 – 2026.
Cities have committed to take actions and measures to reduce the amount of disposed plastic waste by 30% in the pilot area until 2022, and by 55% at city level until 2025, which will be achieved through the door-to-door waste collection systems in pilot areas. The cities of Dubrovnik and Trogir by implementing all measures, will reduce the amount of disposed plastic waste by 4 126,58 tons.
The Action plan of the City of Dubrovnik also includes measures to improve the collection and disposal of compostable and biodegradable plastic waste, as well as design, financing and implementation of the Reuse Centre, which will result in a reduction the amount of biodegradable waste by 573,49 tonnes in the City of Dubrovnik.
In accordance with the Action Plan, a special Decision to limit the use of single-use plastics in all public companies and institutions owned by the City of Dubrovnik and the City of Trogir was adopted. This Decision restricts the use of single-use plastics for all public events (co)organised or (co)financed by those cities. By applying this Decision, each employee of city institutions will reduce 14,56 kilograms of plastic waste per year.
As part of the project, through a public tender, City of Dubrovnik received its unique reusable item, the refil starter set „Slobodo“ , which consists of 100% natural powdery refil gel for washing hands, hair and bodies with the smell of Dubrovnik herbs and reusable glass bottles with dispenser, which can be refilled. Such products contain 99,2% less plastic compared to conventional products, and reduce plastic waste in everyday life and household waste of dubrovnik residents by 25%.
Also, as part of the project, cities have organised four public events without single-use plastics. The greatest response from citizens had Plastic free Advents, which had a goal to reduce 27 000 plastic cups, which would otherwise, at such events, ended up in waste.
In a holiday spirit, the Association Sunce in Trogir organized a Sharing is caring – swap fair intended for exchange of items. The aim of the fair was to point out that there is an opportunity to find gifts for your loved ones which would save you money, reduce waste and protect the environment.
One of the interesting project activities was certainly a study trip to the Emilia-Romagna region, which in Italy is at the forefront of responsible waste management and the city of Reggio Emilia, which achieves a result of almost 85% of the separately collected waste. The aim of the study trip was to visit examples of good practice in responsible waste management based on the principles of reduce, reuse and recycle.
As part of the national campaign Together without plastic, which the project has joined, a radio show of the same name is broadcast on the frequencies of Radio Sunce. All project activities were followed by a radio show.
The cities of Dubrovnik and Trogir are part of the global Plastic Smart Cities initiative, which supports cities and settlements on the coast, in taking concrete measures to stop plastic pollution, along with other Mediterranean cities such as Nice, Izmir, Tangier, Amsterdam and Venice.
Despite the fact that project has finished, the City of Dubrovnik and the City of Trogir will continue to implement these measures and apply the principle of sustainable development in their business, as well as maintain successful cooperation with the Association Sunce. We hope that other cities will follow their examples.