In Serbia, 12 million tons of waste are produced annually, of which as much as 10 million are not treated in any way. Analyzes have shown that the development of a circular economy, which would include the reuse of waste generated in the production process or after the use of products, would enable the creation of up to 30,000 new jobs in Serbia. That is why the Minister of Environmental Protection of Serbia, Irena Vujović, points out that the strategic goal of the country is the transition from a linear to a circular economy.
“In 2019, the ministry formed a working group for the circular economy, consisting of representatives of ministries, institutions and international organizations, and its task is to establish a strategic framework for transforming society into a new model. Serbia is the first Western Balkan country to have a roadmap for that area which gives us a leading position in the environment in this area “.
She pointed out that it is important for Serbia to have the support of European partners in this area, since the EU is a leader in this transition, and the road map from linear to circular economy is modeled on similar documents from Slovenia, Finland and the Netherlands.
“The roadmap has identified the sectors in Serbia that have the greatest potential for this transition. These are the manufacturing industry, agriculture, food production, food waste, plastics, packaging and construction waste.”
In order to define the strategic framework for the circular economy, a circular economy program is currently being developed with an action plan for the period 2022. 2024.
“The focus of the program will be support in the application of the circular economy model, support to local self-governments, encouragement of innovations and cooperation of the business and scientific-research sector,” the minister added.
Current investments in the environment in Serbia are four to five times smaller than in EU countries and amount to 0.3 percent of GDP, but there is great interest in the transition to a circular model of the economy.