Start and end date: 2015 – ongoing

City project taken placeNational Project, Montenegro

Project team: Alexa Aubertin, Marina Tomovic, Vanja Cicmil, Masha Tomovic, Olga Sanina

Beneficiaries: All citizen of Montenegro

Sponsors: this project was self-financed by ZWMNE and its volunteers

Partner: Ociste.me

Budget: self-financed by ZWMNE and its volunteers

Synopsis:

Solving the environmental crisis created by the overuse of single-use plastic bagsin Montenegro has been what led Zero Waste Montenegro to be created in the first place. Our intention is to achieve this goal through the most efficient and proven measure for their strong reduction or elimination in the environment.

Goals:

– Analysis of results of measures to reduce/eliminate plastic bags implemented in other countries
– Creating awareness and getting support of the general population
– Providing legal information to the Ministry and plan how to reduce/eliminate plastic bags leaking to the environment
– Reviewing new Waste Management Law section on Single Use Plastics ban/reduction

Achievements:

In 2015, we organized the first Plastic Bag Free Day in Montenegro, with a ‘plastic bag monster’ walking through the streets of Podgorica and educating citizen on the issues with plastic bags.

In 2017, we held another Plastic Bag Free Day with a Plastic Bag Monster present at a key touristic attraction point of Montenegro. We also conducted a national petition in 2017 to ask citizen of Montenegro to support the ban of plastic bags: 3600 people signed the petition that we delivered to the Ministry.

In 2018, we created an in-depth analysis and recommendations report on the issue of plastic bags in Montenegro, that we wrote with the support of legislation experts. we delivered it in person to the Waste Management Directorate at the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism.

In 2018, we launched a project supported by BEMED to produce affordable reusable bags made in Montenegro for all citizen, with the objective to get them sold at cost price in supermarkets in Montenegro and be able to continue a sustainable production line. Despite all our efforts, no single supermarket chains accepted to sell the bags at their cashier counter if no or too little profit was to be made for them, as most supermarkets are already making profit on selling consumers plastic bags (between 3 to 5 cents each).

In 2019, ZWMNE met with the Minister of Sustainable Develepment and Tourism who said the Ministry will assist ZWMNE to ‘ban plastig bags, plastic bottles and educate all kids in Montenegro on proper waste disposal’. Despite those encouragements ZWMNE didn’t receive any concrete support from the Ministry so far. (read here our letter to the Minister).

In 2019, Ociste.me, a citizen group established to fight (plastic) littering in Montenegro was founded by a group of active citizen, and conducted a second petition to bank plastic bags: over 5100 signed the petition that was also delivered to the Ministry MORiT.

Our program got shared with the Montenegrin public about multiple times on National TVs and newspapers (see press section).

Results:

The ban if Single-Use Plastic ban has been added into the new Waste Management law draft that is currently under review by the Government since May 2019. We submitted our recommendations to the Ministry and are still waiting to hear if the ban will be approved by the government.

Outlook:

ZWMNE will pursue its efforts to eliminate pollution of Montenegro’s beautiful nature and its ecosystem by single-use plastic bags until proper measures are voted and implemented in Montenegro.

Common vision around Montenegro

Delivery of the second petition to the Ministry