We established the first Plastic Smart Cities in Croatia


Caused by the worrying state of the Mediterranean Sea, which is one of the most polluted seas in the world, the WWF Mediterranean launched Plastic Smart Cities initiative to include a larger number of Mediterranean and European cities such as Nice, Izmir, Tangier, Amsterdam and Venice, with a focus on implementing measures to reduce plastic waste and encouraging citizens to take environmental responsibility.

Croatia ranks third in the region in terms of the amount of waste it produces, which is why, in cooperation with WWF Mediterranean, we started the two-year Plastic Smart Cities Croatia project on January 1, 2020.

By signing the cooperation agreement, Dubrovnik became the first Plastic Smart Cities city.

Plastic is all around us, not only in our kitchen, cabinets and clothes but also in our waters, seaa and on the beaches. Despite the efforts made by the Republic of Croatia to reduce plastic, stronger engagement is needed at all levels of government, as well as the contribution of all of us as individuals whose environmental responsibility also plays a key role in solving this problem. The city of Dubrovnik has 42,000 inhabitants and over 4 million overnight stays per year. Mass tourism represents significant pressure on the use of natural resources and waste management in the city. By joining the Initiative in May 2020, Dubrovnik, as the leading city in the Republic of Croatia in terms of tourism, wanted to contribute to the reduction of its own plastic footprint and in that way be an example to other cities in Croatia, since the fight against plastic waste is something that we as a society must face more ambitiously.

In July 2020, the City of Trogir joined the project, which with this initiative continues with the adoption and implementation of environmentally responsible measures.

Action plan to reduce plastic pollution

An important step in solving the challenges that the cities were facing was the creation of an analysis which gave a review of the current situation in the city, how much single-use plastic is used and what the plastic waste management system is, as well as alternatives for replacing certain single-use plastic products.

Based on the analysis, in April 2021, Dubrovnik adopted an Action Plan to reduce plastic pollution for the period 2021-2026, Thus becoming the first city in Croatia to have such a document. You can find this document HERE.

Not long after the adoption of the Plan, at the Dubrovnik City Council session in August, the Decision on limiting the use of single-use plastics for the City of Dubrovnik and institutions and companies (co-)owned by the City was adopted.

The city of Trogir accepted the Action Plan to reduce plastic pollution for the period from 2021 to 2026 until June 2021, based on witch the Decision on limiting the use of single-use plastics was adopted in October 2021.

The Plan and Decision of the cities of Dubrovnik and Trogir include a total of ten measures, some of which are:
• installation of containers for separate waste collection
• digitization of documents and promotion of their use
• replacing disposable plastic cups with glass or other reusable cups
• ensuring the supply of drinks and other liquids in returnable packaging when possible.

Also, cities have committed to take measures and actions that will reduce the amount of disposed plastic waste by 55% at the city level by 2025. The cities of Dubrovnik and Trogir will reduce the amount of disposed plastic waste by 4,126.58 tons by implementing all measures.

Single-use plastic-free events

In addition, the cities organized four public events without single-use plastics. The biggest turnout was the plastic-free Advents, with the help of which the use was reduced by as many as 27,000 plastic cups that would otherwise at such events end up in landfields. Read the details from Advent at the LINK.

In the spirit of Advent, in 2021, Sunce organized the Swap Fair in Trogir for the objects exchange. The fair aime was to show that it is possible to find gifts for your loved ones with which you can save money, reduce waste and protect the environment.

Sunce continues the successful Plastic Smart story and cooperation with the City of Dubrovnik

As part of the Plastic Smart City Dubrovnik project, which started at the end of 2022, the aim is to contribute to the implementation of the Action Plan to reduce plastic pollution in the city of Dubrovnik for the period 2021-2026.

We hope that these are only the first steps in creating a plastic-free Adriatic and Mediterranean and that other cities on a local and global level will see the necessity of creating Action Plans to reduce plastic pollution and passing a Decision on limiting the use of single-use plastics.

As many as 16 municipalities and cities have expressed interest in cooperating on this project, so we hope that they will contact us to help them in the process.