It is estimated that about 80% of waste ends up in the sea from sources on land and land-based activities, such as municipal waste from illegal landfills, waste washed into the sea by rainwater, or as a byproduct of intensive and uncontrolled tourist activities (UNEP, 2009).
For this reason, Sunce has joined the Sub-merus initiative From river to the sea – let’s be plastic free. The focus of this initiative is the critical area where the Cetina River meets the sea, including the protected area of the Cetina River Canyon and three Natura 2000 ecological network areas. These locations are situated in the town of Omis, which is a well-known destination for adventure tourism but also attracts a large number of visitors during the tourist season.
The From river to the sea – let’s be plastic free initiative goal is to reduce the plastic waste pollution pressure of the Adriatic Sea from the Cetina River and the three Natura 2000 ecological network areas. It builds upon the project Plastic free zones – Cetina River Canyon and the provisions of the Decision on limiting the use of plastic within the boundaries of the Significant Landscape of the Cetina River Canyon.
The From river to the sea – let’s be plastic-free initiative activities include following:
- Establishing an Eco-patrol base within the Cetina River Canyon
This activity involves finding a suitable location within the Cetina River Canyon to set up the Eco-patrol base. This base will serve as the central point for Eco-patrol activities.
- Creating protocols for Eco-patrol operations
In collaboration with the Public institution for the management of protected parts of nature in the Split-Dalmatia County “More and Krš”, which already performs the duties of guardians in the Cetina River Canyon, a protocol will be developed to regulate the operations of the Eco-patrol. This protocol will contain guidelines and procedures that Eco-patrol members will follow when collecting and sorting waste and reporting illegal waste dumping to responsible parties.
- Preparing an educational program and waste collection, sorting, and monitoring protocols
Sunce will be responsible for preparing an educational program that will inform all participants about the harmful effects of plastic, its proper disposal, and the importance of waste separation. Additionally, a protocol will be developed to define the procedures for waste collection, sorting, and monitoring to ensure proper waste management at the source.
Expected Project Results:
This initiative will contribute to environmental protection and the preservation of the Adriatic Sea, while also positively impacting the local community and tourism. The synergy between the private, public, and non-governmental sectors will enable us to achieve the common goal of being plastic-free from the river to the sea.
Project Partners: The project leader is Sub-merus. Project partners include the Public Institution for the Protected Areas of Split-Dalmatia County “More and Krš”, the Association for Nature, Environment, and Sustainable Development Sunce and Impactrip.
Project Manager at the Sunce Association: Tea Kuzmičić Rosandić, M.Sc. in Biology and Ecology.
Email: [email protected]
Project Duration: June 2023 – November 2024.
Funding: Beyond Plastic Med (BeMed) micro-initiative