One of the complaints in the circular economy model analysis is that such a system is expensive, but it is even more costly to dispose waste uncontrollably. This was one of the conclusions of this recycling panel. “Recycling is not so widespread here”, stated Dubravko Ponoš, Director of the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund. That is why education is a key step to changing trends and teaching consumers how to recycle.
‘When we re-use what we have already used, we restore value for that material. We just have to comprehend how much of a potent area circular economy actually is.
Without the education of the general public we can have perfect communal companies, but they are dead letters on paper if that same public isn’t going to start separating their waste at home”, Ponoš said.
He also added, when these values are shared with a child, the result will be a person who will be really responsible towards the environment for the next 60+ years. We have a lot less maneuvering space than they do in Norway, Ponoš said, but it just comes to show how smart you have to handle the resources at hand. “We are part of a consumerist society that is constantly producing waste because we are striving for continuous development and we always want to have something that is faster, stronger, cheaper and newer,” commented Aleksandra Anić Vučinić, an Associate Professor at the Environmental Engineering Study.
In the 15th century, Zagreb had a well-organized waste disposal system, and even earlier in history, the Romans and Greeks systematically understood the problem of environmental pollution.
“We need to start taking environmental concerns more seriously. That is where education really is of tremendous importance.
Croatia does not dispose of its waste in the sea and we are not the main cause of pollution in the Adriatic because 80 percent of the waste in the Adriatic Sea comes from Turkey, Greece and Albania, “Anić Vučinić explained.
Seas and oceans make up three-quarters of the Earth’s surface, they produce oxygen that we breathe and it’s no wonder that we love them. That is the message of Terra Hub Croatia environmental association co-founder Sandra Vlašić.
‘Waste remains in our environment for hundreds of years. Cigarette filters are one of the most commonly found types of waste on the beaches. We are all equally responsible for the plastic we find in the seas – approximately eight million tons of waste ends up in the seas and oceans each year, and most of it comes from the mainland.
It is estimated that by 2050 the sea will have more plastic than fish. The beaches of the Adriatic islands are covered with plastic, and the cause of that is insufficient public awareness and poor living habits,” Vlašić said.