3.5 billion dinars worth of state subsidies for recyclers and ‘waste pickers’

Next year, recyclers might count on state subsidies of a total of 3.5 billion dinars. According to the draft budget for 2020, 27% more funds are planned for environmental protection. All the surplus amounts will be directed to the budget funds and will, in fact, exceed 45%.

Serbia is trying to focus more on the circular economy, where the principle of using resources entails the elimination of waste. If this takes root, 2,000 new jobs would be created in the plastic packaging sector and close to EUR 160 million of gross added value would be created.

This was said at the conference “Waste Management in the Context of Climate Change”, organized by GIZ and the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

“The biggest increase will be in incentives for the recycling industry. For years, recyclers, especially those dealing with hazardous waste, have been able to collect more than they could process, but the state has no money to support them. If we want to have a clean country, we need to help them. That is also a question of the circular economy. We first need to collect the waste and then see how it is to be used,” said the Minister of Environmental Protection, Goran Trivan.

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Serbia is also preparing new solutions through the Law on Waste Management.

“The issue of plastic bags will be made local through this law. The responsibility for environmental protection management is a local responsibility. We will put the focus on pharmaceutical waste. Companies which deal with waste and violate these regulations will no longer be able to obtain a permit for it,” Trivan added.

Analyses show that, in the plastic packaging sector in Serbia, 16 kilogrammes of waste per capita is generated each year. Only 22% of the whole amount is recycled. In the EU, as many as 32 kilograms are generated, but 43% is recycled. When it comes to food waste in Serbia, only 1% is reused as animal feed, biogas, compost or as donations to food banks.

(Vecernje Novosti, 28.11.2019)



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