Dubrovnik limited the use of disposable plastic!

At its last session, August 30, 2021, the City Council of Dubrovnik adopted the Decision on Restricting the Use of Disposable Plastics for the City of Dubrovnik and Institutions and Companies (Co)Owned by the City.

The decision prescribes measures which restrict the use of disposable plastic in administrative bodies and in institutions and companies (co)owned by the City of Dubrovnik, as well as prescribes the replacement of certain items used in business with environmentally friendly solutions, all in order to prevent and / or reduce plastic waste and the adverse impact of certain plastic products on the environment. Also, it is prescribed that the use of disposable plastic is limited to all public events that the City of Dubrovnik (co)organizes or (co)finances. The City, it’s institutions and companies are obliged to ensure and arrange separate collection of waste at the venue with the with event organizers, as well as its timely and appropriate collection and disposal of waste.

Furthermore, in the operations of the City, institutions, and companies, it is now necessary to apply the criteria for green public procurement whenever possible. One of the measures prescribed by the Decision also refers to the digitization of documents and the promotion of the use of electronic documents among employees and officials whenever possible.

With the adoption of the Action Plan to Reduce the Plastic Pollution in the City of Dubrovnik for the period 2021-2026 in April 2021, of which the implementation began in June with the organization of a two-day workshop, the City of Dubrovnik had become the first city in Croatia to adopt such a document. Some measures have been applied even before the adoption of the Plan and the Decision.

The entire decision in Croatian can be found here.

The decision covers a total of 10 key measures:

  1. placing containers for separate waste collection (plastic, paper, glass, electronic waste, biowaste, mixed municipal waste, etc.) in appropriate places within institutions and separating waste at the place of origin, whenever possible, as well as ensuring adequate transportation and disposal of all separately collected waste
  2. digitization of documents and promotion of the use of electronic documents among employees and  officials whenever possible
  3. replacement of disposable plastic cups with glass or other reusable cups
  4. replacement of disposable plastic straws with reuse solutions (straws made of alternative materials such as paper, bamboo, steel)
  5. replacement of disposable plastic cutlery and plastic coffee spoons with reusable metal utensils or available alternatives made of natural and biodegradable or compostable materials (wood, paper, fiber, sugar cane, bamboo cane, etc.)
  6. ensuring the possibility of using reusable cups on coffee and water machines, ie completely eliminating the use of disposable plastic cups
  7. ensuring the supply of beverages and other liquids exclusively in returnable packaging whenever possible
  8. replacing all disposable plastic bags with reusable tote or paper bags whenever possible
  9. gradual replacement and procurement of office supplies and hygiene supplies without plastic packaging whenever possible
  10. gradual replacement and procurement of cleaning and personal hygiene products with environmentally friendly ingredients (such as natural cleaning products) and the use of reusable products to reduce the generation of packaging waste.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has launched the Plastic Smart Cities initiative which supports coastal municipalities and communities in taking action to stop plastic pollution. Other Mediterranean and European cities, such as Nice, Izmir, Tangier, Amsterdam and Venice, are also part of this initiative. Plastic Smart Citiy Dubrovnik project partners are: WWF Mediterranean, Association Sunce Split and the City of Dubrovnik.