The Best Innovations in Accelerating Circular Economy Awarded $783,000

March 17, 2023
Photo: Saša Džambić/UNDP

Belgrade, 17 March 2022 – On the occasion of the Global Recycling Day celebrated on 18 March, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with the support by the Global Environment Fund (GEF), have rewarded the authors of the best innovations in further development of circular economy in Serbia. The awards have been received by private and public enterprises and civil society organisations. Their innovations would contribute to decreasing the emission of the greenhouse gases and production of waste, as well as to preservation of natural resources.

Assistant to the Minister of Environmental Protection, Dušan Čarkić, emphasised on this occasion that last year, the Ministry of Environmental Protection adopted two key documents intended to improve the system of waste management and facilitate the transition to circular economy – Waste Management Programme in the Republic of Serbia and Programme for the Development of Circular Economy.

“The award-winning ideas offer new solutions when it comes to the way in which products are designed, produced and used, which is bound to contribute to a decrease in the emission of greenhouse gases, as well as to the recycling of materials and their reuse instead of using new raw materials. This would lead to a decrease in the consumption of non-renewable resources, as well as in the total amount of waste to reach landfills,” added Čarkić.

“We celebrate the Global Recycling Day by rewarding 10 most innovative ideas that would help Serbia’s accelerated transition to circular economy. These solutions would contribute to the improvement of the living environment’s quality, opening of new, green jobs and increase the competitiveness of Serbian companies,” said Yakup Beris, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Serbia.

Ten innovations received financial support of 783,000 USD in total, so that they could be realised during this year. These are ideas for saving electrical energy by using new technologies, producing energy from bio-waste, using organic waste in producing compost, fertilisers and new materials, using hazardous waste for the production of a high quality fertiliser, as well recycling of textile, paper, cardboard and cigarette packs in making new products. The funds recipients are: Nektar d.o.o, DETO d.o.o. Pančevo, Elixir Zorka-mineralna đubriva d.o.o. Šabac, Bitgear Wireless Design Services d.o.o, Mivaka d.o.o Belgrade, Association for Persons with Developmental Problems “Naša kuća”, Public Utility Company (PUC) Osečina, PUC Novi Pazar, PUC Novi Sad and the Belgrade Municipality of Stari grad.

On this occasion, the Ministry of Environmental Protection awarded Eco Logo of the Republic of Serbia to the company of Wienerberger for their pressed roof tile product, as well as the Tarkett company for their multi-layered parquet board. The condition for receiving the Eco Logo is that the product has been produced in Serbia, and that its production has involved a decrease in at last one of the factors that have impact on the environment: consumption of electrical energy, emission of harmful and hazardous matter, production of waste, or consumption of natural resources. It is important for the companies whose products have received the Eco Logo to stimulate use of secondary raw materials and recycled materials, to decrease noise, vibrations, and radiation emission, and that their products, at the end of their life cycle, could be reused, or recycled.

The event was organised within the project “Decreasing Local Communities’ Carbon Footprint by Utilising Circular Economy Principles in the Republic of Serbia – Circular Communities”, implemented by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and UNDP, with the financial support by the GEF.