Sunday, 26 January 2020

Above EU Average: 28 Percent of Croatia's Energy From Renewable Sources

According to Eurostat data, the share of renewable energy in the Republic of Croatia in 2018 was 28 percent in total energy consumption, meaning that Croatia is significantly above the EU average.

As Marina Klepo/Novac writes on the 25th of January, 2020, according to these indicators, Croatia is among the European Union (EU) countries to have exceeded the prescribed level for 2020, and the target set for Croatia is 20 percent.

However, back in 2004 that level stood at a significantly less 23.4 percent in Croatia. The share of renewable energy in total consumption was determined for each EU country individually, taking into account different starting positions, the respective level of potential in the area of ​​renewable sources, and economic results. In the case of Croatia, it is obvious that the goal set was lower than the starting position.

Compared to 2017, the share of renewable energy in 2018 increased by 0.7 percentage points, but was lower than in 2015 when it stood at 29 percent, which indicates that there has been no progress in recent years despite Croatia being above the EU average.

Renewable energy sources include wind energy, solar energy, biomass, heat from the Earth's interior, hot springs (geothermal energy) and water power. Of these sources, Croatia is best represented by its hydropower.

Increasing the share of renewable energy sources is considered crucial to achieving the set climate and energy targets. At the EU level, the share of energy from renewable sources in total final energy consumption in 2018 reached 18 percent, an increase of half a percentage point when compared to the year before.

Compared to 2004, the share has more than doubled, from the then 8.5 percent, while, as stated, the target for this year is 20 percent.

Almost every third country in the EU has already reached or exceeded its binding targets. In addition to Croatia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus, Finland and Sweden are in this group.

Sweden accounted for the largest share of renewable energy in its total final consumption in 2018, 54.6 percent, followed by Finland with 41.2 percent, Latvia with 40.3 percent, Denmark with 36.1 percent and Austria with 33.4 percent.

The lowest share was recorded in the Netherlands, with only 7.4 percent, with Malta (8% percent), Luxembourg (9.1 percent) and Belgium (9.4 percent). The four EU countries which are very close to reaching the prescribed share of renewables are Romania, Hungary, Austria and Portugal, with the worst of them all being the Netherlands and France, which are more than 6 percent off the target.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle and Total Eco Croatia pages for more.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Croatia: Environmental Organization Sea Shepherd Opens Office

Sea Shepherd, a world environmental organization, is establishing an office in Zagreb, Croatia. It was founded in 1977 by Captain Paul Watson to fight for the protection of the sea and its inhabitants. Since then, Sea Shepherd has become the most active and successful organization dealing with the protection of the ocean and marine fauna.

The Sea Shepherd fleet consists of 13 ships with crews of volunteers from all over the world, and has the largest private fleet in the world, which is on call day and night. Sea Shepherd doesn’t engage in protest rather they focus on responding and use tactics and direct actions to investigate, document and prevent illegal activities which cause damage to the world’s oceans.


Stopping Whale Hunts

Over the past 40 years, due to their actions, massive underwater life hunts have been on the decline worldwide. Sea Shepherd has worked against the seal massacre in Canada, the whale massacre on the Faroe Islands, illegal fishing in the Mediterranean, dolphin killing in Japan, and for the protection of the Vaquita porpoise in the Gulf of Mexico, among many other actions. For ten years, they have been actively combating commercial whaling of the Japanese fleet in the Pacific Ocean, despite attempts by that fleet to disguise the hunt for research purposes. This is the action they are most well-known for.

Each year, the Japanese fleet seek to slaughter a minimum of 1,000 whales to make their catch commercially viable. Thanks to Sea Shepherd’s on-site responses, they have been prevented from hunting and have been virtually forced to give up. About 5,000 whales have been rescued and set free. Sea Shepherd continues to operate due to the success of their campaigns and the support of volunteers and donors. For more information on Sea Shepherd’s global work, visit their website here.


First Event in Croatia

Sea Shepherd organizers will be holding their first public event in Croatia on November 28, 2019. They will be discussing their organization at the Oris kuća arhitekture (Oris House of Architecture) in Zagreb. They will also reveal how they are fighting to preserve the ocean, the current state of the Adriatic Sea and how to take action to promote the survival of underwater life.

This is an opportunity to obtain information, ask questions, and find out how we can save the sea and support the world's most active marine conservation organization.

DATE: 11/28/2019
TIME: 19:00
PLACE: Oris kuća arhitekture (Kralja Držislava Street 3, 10 000 Zagreb)
GUESTS: Captain Alex Cornelissen CEO of Sea Shepherd Global and others

Other guest speakers include Andrea Morello CEO Sea Shepherd Italy, Robert Mach CEO Sea Shepherd Austria, Scientists at the Ruđer Bošković Institute and numerous guests from the world of science, sports and entertainment.

More information about the event can be found here.

A video of Sea Shepherd removing an illegal driftnet in the Mediterranean:

For more information on environmental issues in Croatia, follow our Lifestyle page.

Friday, 4 October 2019

Croatia Waste Expo: Just How Green Has Croatia Actually Gone?

Waste management has found itself becoming a more and more popular theme in recent years. Plastic polluting the world's seas and oceans has become a critical matter for all, and many countries have now passed laws in order to try to curb the problem before it's too late. Separating waste properly is one small but effective thing the ''average Joe'' can do at home - where does Croatia really stand on the matter?

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes on the 4th of October, 2019, proper waste management is a matter of not only economy and cost, but is also a huge social issue - what we leave for generations to come, as was said at the opening of the eighth Croatia Waste Expo 2019, which is being held today in Zagreb, and is organised by Poslovni Dnevnik.

Vladimir Nišević, Editor-in-Chief of Poslovni Dnevnik said that the issue of waste management through events such as Waste Expo has had light shed on it in this way for six years now.

"There are no major rapid developments in this sector, so this event is also important as a place of dialogue, which something that is often lacking in our society. Therefore, the theme and this event is not [necessarily] what it is now, but what it could become in the coming period, as we try to move away from the political noise that often diverts our attention from what is important, and place the focus on some things and passions that may be in the background,'' Nišević said.

Sanja Radović Josić, Head of the sustainable waste management division of the environmental impact assessment and sustainable waste management department at the Ministry of Environment and Energy, emphasised that waste management has long been a part of the circular economy and affects the entire economy and society.

"The waste management plan is a whole cycle from the generation, disposal, processing and recycling and reuse of that waste as industrial or energy raw material. Existing EU regulations imply that by 2020 we will recycle 50 percent of paper, plastic and metal, and 75 percent of construction waste. However, last year, a new regulation was adopted up until 2035 that raises those standards by 10-15 percent,'' she explained.

She added that in the Republic of Croatia, we currently recycle about 30 percent and dispose of 70 percent of our waste, and the EU directive says we should dispose of a maximum of just 10 percent, which indicates that we are still far from the target. EU funding has been used to equip recycling yards and 23 waste management centres, as well as the entire tank and vehicle infrastructure for that system.

"In order to comply with EU regulations, we have had to bring in the dynamics of closing existing landfills that don't meet European Union or national requirements. There are also measures to reduce plastic that ends up in the sea, which is primarily to do with reducing disposable plastic for food and drinks, bags, drinking bottles, earbuds, etc.'' emphasised Sanja Radovic Josic.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If you're interested in both official and unofficial ways in which Croatia aims to take care of its environment, give Total Eco Croatia a follow.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Global Climate Protest to be Held in Four Cities Across Croatia

As Morski/Leonarda Smigmator writes on the 17th of September, 2019, the Global Climate Protest, organised by the ''Fridays For Future Croatia'' youth initiative will take place on Friday, September the 20th, at 18:00 at European square (Europski trg) in Zagreb, from where it will then head to St. Marks square (Markov trg).

This protest is part of a global strike and a week of actions (held from the 20th to the 27th of September, 2019) and according to present information, 3,167 protests are planned in over 100 countries across the world. Protests will also take place here in, Croatia - in Osijek, Rijeka and Split as well as Zagreb.

The aim of the protest is to raise people's general awareness of the problem of the global climate crisis, which is already a major threat, and to urge the Croatian Government to "take their heads out of the sand" and take action before it is too late to do anything.

Resources like clean water, air and food are decreasing and there are more and more humans walking the Earth. According to exprts, all the weather disasters that have happened in the past year did not happen by accident, but are mostly the result of our devastating impact on nature.

Things will only get worse if we continue like this, they claim. Each and every individual must change in order to achieve some success and not wipe out humanity from the face of the Earth. The goal is for the ruling government to understand this properly and to take legal measures that will protect people and the Earth, or introduce changes that will have a positive impact instead of an overwhelmingly negative one.

The Fridays For Future initiative says the protest is different in that it has now called on numerous associations such as Green Action, Greenpeace and Animal Friends, as well as unions, retirees and others to join.

The message of this protest is that climate change is affecting everyone, not just the young, time is running out and it will be increasingly difficult to repair the damage we have inflicted upon the planet. The protest this time starts at 18:00 so that even people who are working all day can freely come and attend the protest.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If you're interested in Croatia's official and unofficial environmental policies, give Total Eco Croatia a follow.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

More Environmentally Friendly Croatian Companies With ''Eco'' Labels

As Morski writes on the 18th of August, 2019, care for not only health but the environment have become a priority in shaping the consumer habits of many modern customers, which is why more and more Croatian companies are branding their products with eco-labels.

''We're pleased that Croatian companies have recognised the importance of standardised eco-labels, one of which is the most widely recognised EU Ecolabel. They add an additional dimension to the competitiveness and quality of Croatian producers, and show that a successful environmental business can be reconciled, that is, environmental care and profit can go hand in hand,'' said Marija Šćulac Domac of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), adding how the aforementioned chamber actively participated in the promotion of eco-labels and sought to educate Croatian companies on the benefits of the EU Ecolabel through targeted activities.

In order for a product/service to carry the EU Ecolabel, they must meet a very strict set of benchmarks prescribed by the European Commission (EC), based on the professional and scientific parametres of the product/service pressure on the environment over its life cycle (from raw material collection and processing, through to production, packaging, transport, providing a service, use, right up until it becomes waste).

The number of Croatian products and services bearing this designation is encouragingly constantly increasing, and the Croatian company to which the EU Ecolabel certification has been awarded for as many as ten different products is Osijek's Saponia.

Their seven consumer products and three industrial products had to meet the stringent environmental standards prescribed by the EC's specific criteria for each group of detergents, depending on their purpose. This includes the process of selecting special environmentally friendly raw materials, production, packaging, use, and until the final disposal of the packaging.

''These are the first Croatian cleaning products to have widespread certification and as such be accepted in countries outside of the European Union. We're continuing with the certification process. At the moment, three more consumer products from the program are in the process of certification, thus completing the complete range of environmentally friendly products,'' said Saponia's board member Dajana Mrčela, adding that care for the environment and the implementation of the principle of sustainable development is imperative for Saponia, and the certification is only a confirmation of many years strategies to be implemented in the future.

"With this approach to our products, our goal is to go beyond the boundaries of our company and convey this awareness of environmental concerns to our customers," Mrčela said.

In other news, Valamar Riviera has recently become the first Croatian tourism company to receive the EU Ecolabel logo for tourist accommodation for up to six of its campsites across the country.

''Valamar systematically applies high environmental standards as a key resource in tourism. The prestigious EU Ecolabel, on the one hand, confirms that our products and services meet the most demanding environmental standards, and on the other hand, it motivates our guests and partners to choose among the products and services on the market and opt for those that are greener and more responsible in terms of the environment,'' said Željko Kukurin, the CEO of Valamar Riviera.

The EU Ecolabel has been in use since 1992 and there are currently about 73,000 products and services on the European market bearing this designation.

Here in the Republic of Croatia, the first such label was awarded back in 2016 to Ecology 108 for the EcoBianco detergent, and two years later, eight Delt paper (papir) products were awarded this certificate. So far, a total of nineteen Croatian products and six services have met the strict EU Ecolabel criteria, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce confirmed.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If you're interested in how Croatia takes care of its environment, give Total Eco Croatia a follow.

Monday, 12 August 2019

German Tourist Disgusted by Trash on Croatian Coast, Removes it Himself

As Morski writes on the 11th of August, 2019, a German tourist holidaying on the Croatian coast was left horrified by the amount of plastic waste he found simply strewn and lying around, and thus decided to systematically clean up a part of the shoreline with his family who were there with him.

After clearing the part of the coast on the island of Cres (Kvarner) which he did, which was covered in trash and which he photographed, Oskar Hund wrote on his Facebook page along with the photos he had taken:

"After yesterday's discovery by the sea, we collected up all the trash again, but there's no way it can all be done at once. In order to succeed, we had to deal with the waste collection gradually and dealt primarily with things that we assumed were particularly bad, such as the nets.

The result: One straw, but countless cotton earbuds in different colours. Lots of nets and bags. It was scary to see broken bottles too. We dare to assume that they were used for fuel for the boats, after which they were carelessly thrown out into the sea.''

We at Total Croatia News would like to join Morski in expressing our joint gratitude to Mr. Hund and his environmentally conscious family for their hard and selfless work which they absolutely didn't need to do while trying to enjoy their holiday on the coast, yet they did without question anyway.

It is up to all of us to at least try to follow this shining example of these forward thinking German tourists; not to throw garbage in the sea, and when we are on the coastline and when we come across it, to try to clean it up. One piece of rubbish might not seem like a lot to take the time to pick up and throw away, but if we all do it, then it makes an enormous difference.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If you're interested in Croatian initiatives to take care of the environment, give Total Eco Croatia a follow.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

400,000 Tons of Food Per Year Thrown Out in Republic of Croatia?

Just how much food are Croats throwing our on a yearly basis? What with world hunger growing at an alarming rate, the numbers are concerning both on a global and a national scale.

As Morski writes on the 29th of May, 2019, according to FAO estimates, around one-third of the food produced annually (1.2 billion tons) is thrown out globally, which means that across the world, over 1 trillion dollars worth of food is simply discarded.

In the Republic of Croatia alone, a massive 400,000 tons are being thrown out per year, of which 40,000 tons is due to a lack of Croats understanding or paying proper attention to the duration/expiry dates of certain products. This problem was addressed during the second day of the thirteenth Conference on Food Safety and Quality, organised by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).

Sanja Kolarić Kravar from the Ministry of Agriculture presented a plan to prevent the continuation of food wastage, pointing out that we need to focus on responsible production and consumption in order to reduce the amount we throw out in general, and in turn increase the donation of products to those in a lesser economic position.

''Over the last couple of years, we've been actively developing a donation system and we're looking at what needs to be done in order to make it function better. An e-donation platform has been established which will relieve the burden from donors, align the supply and the need, and enable the more transparent distribution of food. The system has already been tested and I'd like to invite all donors and moderators to sign up.It's a virtual food bank that will allow us to throw out as little as possible,'' stated Kolarić Kravar, adding that tax relief regarding this burning issue is the plan.

''In developed countries, about forty percent of food in the sales and consumption phase is thrown out, and in developing countries, forty percent is thrown out during the production phase. Fruit and vegetables are thrown out the most, followed by fish and meat. On the basis of households, about 1,800 dollars of food is thrown out, and this ultimately has an impact on climate change,'' said Darja Sokolić of the Croatian Agriculture and Food Agency.

She also presented a study which involved samples of food categories on the Croatian market which showed that products with a very long shelf life (coffee, salt, sugar, rice, honey...), in the case they've been properly stocked, are fine for human consumption for up to one year after the "best before" label claims they are.

The second category includes long term durability products that retain all of their properties for up to two months after their expiry dates (cereals, sweets, oil...), and products with a limited and short duration should not be consumed at all after the expiry of the prescribed deadlines (dairy products, fresh meat, fish...).

''Small manufacturers often ask about the expiration time of their products, and I see this as an opportunity for laboratories to help them out. Guidelines for food donors are in the process of being developed, and workshops on safe food handling will be held next month. Intermediaries and end-users need to be educated in order to throw out as little food as possible,'' Sokolić concluded.

Make sure to stay up to date by following our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

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