New Natural Park, Progress in Waste Sorting

Dinara Natural Park Photo: Ivo Cagalj / PIXSELL

ZAGREB, January 2021 – Croatia’s environmental affairs in 2021 were marked by the declaration of Dinara as the 12th natural park and the granting of UNESCO designated site status to the Mura-Drava-Danube Biosphere Reserve.

On February 5, the Croatian parliament unanimously passed a law declaring Mount Dinara the 12th largest natural park in Croatia. The nature park includes the Croatian section of Mount Dinara as well as the Troglav and Kamešnica mountains, the upper course of the Cetina river and the karst fields of Hrvatačko, Paško and Vrličko. It spans two counties – Split-Dalmatia and Šibenik-Knin – measuring almost 63,000 hectares. Dinara is part of the Dinaric Alps, also known as the Dinarides, a mountain range in southern and southeastern Europe.

On September 15, the International Coordinating Council of UNESCO designated the transboundary biosphere reserve that stretches along the Drava, Mura and Danube rivers as the first biosphere reserve spanning five countries: Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary and Serbia. The Mura, Drava and Danube rivers form a 700 kilometer long green belt, also known as the Amazon of Europe, connecting nearly one million hectares of unique land with significant natural and cultural heritage, becoming the first biosphere reserve of five countries in the world.

Legislative activities relating to environmental protection

In July, the Croatian parliament passed a law banning the use of plastic bags with a thickness between 15 and 50 microns from January 1, 2022, while other types of plastic bags will be phased out over the course of of the coming period.

A project aimed at better management of plastic waste has started and the first comprehensive national statistical survey on food waste has been carried out.

The Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development said a strong positive trend in waste separation, collection and recycling continues.

The waste sorting rate in 2020 was 41%, up 15 percentage points since 2016. Of the total municipal waste, 56% was landfilled and 34% recovered, an increase of 13 percentage points compared to 2016.

Preclassified among the best cities in Europe for sustainable waste management, Šibenik is building the Bikarac waste management plant

In mid-December, the Zero Waste Europe network released new best practices for sustainable waste management in Europe, including those from the town of Prelog in northern Croatia and 11 neighboring municipalities.

Prelog, the first Croatian town to adopt a zero waste strategy, and 11 neighboring municipalities (Belica, Donja Dubrava, Donji Vidovec, Sveta Marija, Goričan, Donji Kraljevec, Kotoriba, Dekanovec, Domašinec, Martijanec, Podturen), have improved their results in sorting total waste from 57.25% in 2019 to 65.23% in 2020.

On December 21, the Šibenik city waste management center started a trial of the HRK 245 million Bikarac waste management plant, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Tomislav Ćorić congratulating Šibenik for setting an example for other cities on how to solve the waste problem. management. Currently, around 73,000 tonnes of waste are delivered to Bikarac along with over 40,000 tonnes of municipal waste. The capacity of the mechanical-biological plant is to process around 70,000 tonnes of waste per year.

In June, Parliament adopted the national low-carbon development strategy until 2030 with a perspective until 2050.

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