Start and end date: October 2019 – ongoing

City project taken place: Podgorica

Project Coordinators: Alexa Aubertin & Marina Tomovic

Beneficiaries: Capital of Podgorica & Ministry of Tourism and Sustainable Development

Sponsors: Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC)

Partner: Ramsdem B.V.

Budget: 8.400 €

Synopsis:

The objective of this project is to provide advice to the participating institutions on the main strategies and actions that would prevent the single use of plastics and improved management of plastic waste, and assist in the implementation. The other objective is to provide advice on greening public procurement to the Public Institutions.
This project is part of the Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean, adopted in 2013 (COP 18, Decision IG.21/7) and the Regional Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production in the Mediterranean adopted in 2016 (COP 19, Decision IG.22/5).

Goals:

– Identification of single-use plastic items and packaging
– Options to minimize the single-use plastics
– Implementation of options, to the extent possible
– Recommendations for greening public procurement
– Participation at a national event

Results:

Between September 2019 and July 2020, we worked together with the Ministry or Sustainable Development and Tourism and the Capital City of Podgorica to reduce their consumption of Single Use Plastic (SUP) items in their Institutions.

We started by doing a study to understand what were the most used SUP in those 2 Institutions: we analyzed procurement data, run a waste audit on-site and interviewed key stakeholders.

We proposed 21 recommendations to reduce up to 50.000 SUP items per year, including 15.400 plastic bottles, 10.000 plastic spoons, 20.000 plastic stirrers and 5.450 coffee packaging. If all those recommendations were implemented, we estimated that in one year the One Time Cost would be recovered and beyond, generating over 14.000 of euros of savings per year.

The following recommendations were selected by the Ministry and we assisted them in the implementation:

Replacement of still water plastic bottles by the use of glass jugs and tap water
• Replacement of plastic straws by NOT providing straws any longer
• Replacement of plastic-based gloves wrapped in plastic packaging by latex gloves packed in cardboard

• Replacement of plastic glasses used for large groups by glasses in glass
• Replacement of micro-fiber cleaning rags by reusable cotton rags
• Replacement of plastic spoons by metal spoons
• Introduction of paper collection trays in each office
• Replacement of sugar in plastic packaging by sugar cubes in cardboard packaging

At the Capital of Podgorica, the following recommendations were selected for implementation (currently still ongoing due to Corona crisis situation and all staff not being at the office):

• Replacement of still water plastic bottles by the use of small reusable glass swing-top bottles
• Replacement of plastic straws by NOT providing straws any longer
• Replacement of plastic glasses used for large groups by glasses in glass
• Replacement of plastic spoons by metal spoons

We also printed posters with the adopted measures in each office and common room. We created visuals above the recycling bins to ensure they wouldn’t be used as general bins.

As our waste audits showed that half of the bins content was mostly office paper, we also decided to support those Institutions in the reduction of their paper waste by introducing a special paper bins in each office (see photo below).

In order to make this implementation successful, we trained the catering and cleaning staff and held a kick-off for all employees just before the launch.

The Ministry of Finance was informed of the guidelines created by SCP/RAC on addressing plastic pollution through public procurement.

Outlook:

The Ministry and the Capital City are in charge of following up on those recommendations and ensuring their procurement process are updated so no more Single-Use Plastics items are being purchased/delivered to their premises.

Further reading:

Announcement: SCP/RAC supports the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro to implement “green” practices in relation to plastics and waste.

Kick-off event to introduce the new measures to the Ministry employees.

Workshop to train the HoReCa and cleaning staff on the changes and inform them on the role they have to play in it.

Paper collection boxes for each office in the Ministry of Tourism and Sustainable Development.

Engraved jug for serving tap water instead of SUP water bottles at the Ministry of Tourism and Sustainable Development.

All measures implemented by the Ministry.

Poster for the recycling bin collecting PET bottles brought in by employees.