Thursday, 16 June 2022

Green Action Urges Shift To Reusable Packaging

ZAGREB, 16 June 2022 - The Green Action NGO has joined a global action of some 400 associations calling for a shift to reusable packaging, saying reusable packaging is the only viable alternative to disposable plastic and plastic packaging.

On the occasion of World Refill Day, marked on 16 June, Green Action on Thursday called on the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development "to recognise reusable packaging as the only truly sustainable alternative to disposable plastic and plastic packaging."

The NGO expects the ministry's new rules on disposable plastics, packaging and packaging waste, and fishing tools will encourage the development of reusable systems and reduce the generation of plastic waste.

Green Action said that a global coalition of more than 400 organisations is calling on the world's five largest plastic polluters and governments to switch to reusable packaging and commit to transparent and accountable reuse and refill systems.

"In an open letter, members of Break Free From Plastic, Greenpeace and the largest network of environmental organisations, Friends of the Earth, called on the CEOs of Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle, Unilever and Procter & Gamble to finally address the impact of their business and use of plastic on the environment, society and health, and the disproportionate impact on communities," Green Action said in a press release.

In the next 10 years, plastic production is expected to increase by as much as 40%, which will only exacerbate the climate crisis. The largest part of the increase accounts for disposable plastics and plastic packaging, the NGO noted, adding that governments have a responsibility to protect people from toxicity and should compel corporate polluters to take responsibility for the pollution they cause.

"A survey conducted in 28 large countries has shown that 85% of people believe that manufacturers and retailers should take responsibility for reducing, reusing and recycling plastic packaging,"  Green Action said.

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Wednesday, 13 April 2022

Green Action: Croatia Still Swamped by Plastic Bags Despite Ban

ZAGREB, 13 April 2022 2022 - The Croatian market is still swamped by single-use plastics despite the ban, the Green Action NGO said at a protest rally outside the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development on Wednesday, urging it to ensure compliance with the European Union's Single-Use Plastics Directive.

The 2019 directive required EU member states to adopt the necessary measures by 31 July 2021 to achieve a sustained reduction in the consumption of single-use plastic products.

But even eight months after this deadline single-use plastic products are still offered in retail shops and catering establishments in Croatia, the NGO said, citing an informal field survey conducted by environmental groups combating single-use plastic pollution in the country.

"We demand that the Ministry urgently set a deadline after which it will no longer be possible to find plastic products which have been banned from being placed on the market in accordance with the Waste Management Act," Green Action's Ana-Marija Mileusnić said.

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Thursday, 1 July 2021

Green Action: Croatia Should Be More Determined in Combating Plastic Pollution

ZAGREB, 1 July 2021 - The Green Action NGO on Thursday called on the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development to adopt ambitious measures as part of the new waste management bill and set the right example in combating plastic pollution.

"Croatia can be a leader among EU member states in abandoning single-use plastics and the waste culture. Now we finally have a chance to start promoting a reuse system as a solution to single-use plastic pollution," Green Action's Ana-Marija Mileusnić said as part of the "Plastic-Free July" campaign.

She said that the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development was "very inert and passive" in drawing up the new waste management bill.

"Despite repeated calls for action, we are still late in meeting the initial deadlines, which will not bring about any major change other than banning the marketing of certain products," Mileusnić said.

The Single-Use Plastic Directive says that replacement of single-use plastic products with other disposable products should be prevented, so specific provisions should be laid down to promote the development of a reuse system, she added.

In order for the system to be effective, economic incentives supporting reuse should be provided, such as taxation and effective differences in fees for multiple-use packaging. "In addition to policy- and decision-makers, we also need the support of the public at large because it is people that make the system, and already now they can contribute to positive change," Mileusnić said.

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Saturday, 12 June 2021

NGO Says Croatia Again Shows Lack of Ambition in Fight Against Climate Change

ZAGREB, 12 June, 2021 - Despite efforts by 11 EU countries, energy ministers have not managed to say 'No' to the extension of fossil fuel subsidies for some cross-border energy projects and by supporting this, Croatia has once again demonstrated a lack of ambition in fighting climate change, the Green Action NGO has said.

EU ministers on Friday agreed to extend EU support for some cross-border gas projects despite efforts by 11 countries and the European Commission that had clearly said that such funding should be discontinued in line with climate goals. The Council reached agreement on a revision of the regulation on the trans-European energy grid, thus accepting a compromise text that will extend subsidies for gas projects.

"(Economy and Sustainable Development) Minister Tomislav Ćorić did not attend the meeting but a representative of his ministry endorsed that weak text and Croatia has thus once again confirmed a lack of ambition in the fight against climate change," the NGO warned.

The agreement was not endorsed by Germany, Spain, Austria and Luxembourg.

"Even though the world is on fire, too many member-states still want to extend the use of fossil fuels like natural gas," the Green Action says.

The agreement defines the way the European Commission picks priority projects of common interest which then get EU funding and environmental permits faster. That is how the LNG terminal on the island of Krk ended up on such a list of priority projects, despite opposition from the local community and public at large, the Green Action says, noting that natural gas would probably continue to dominate new projects.

"Even though we should redirect all subsidies to clean renewable energy sources, we will continue paying for unnecessary gas infrastructure and gas pipelines that transport gas mixed with small quantities of hydrogen. The European Parliament must now take a firm stand to end EU subsidies for all fossil fuels," says the Green Action.

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