Plastic waste is one of the greatest threats to human health and nature. According to estimates, households, the production and service industry, and public utilities in BiH produced nearly 150,000 tonnes of plastic waste in 2018. However, less than 2% of this waste is recycled, while 98% ends up in controlled, uncontrolled, and illegal landfills in BiH due to the absence of the system of primary and secondary selection of packaging waste in most municipalities and cities, coupled with a lack of recycling capacities for various packaging materials. A solution to plastic waste requires engagement of governments, public and private sectors, academia and society, across the board.

The (EU) Single-Use Plastics Directive entered into force in early July and requires EU Member States to adopt a series of measures to reduce the use of single-use plastics and environmental pollution, extend the manufacturer’s liability scheme, ban certain products in the EU and facilitate an introduction of a circular economic model in the EU by 2030 to make all plastics in circulation recyclable or reusable. The Directive, among others, introduces a requirement for separate collection for recycling purposes to as many as 90% of beverage bottles up to 3 liters by 2029. The current targets for the recovery and recycling of packaging waste in Bosnia and Herzegovina are between 16 and 20%.

To understand the implications of the Single-Use Plastics Directive on the economy and environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina, UNDP conducted research and produced a Report on the Transposition of the Single-Use Plastics Directive and its Impact on the Economy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as part of its efforts to encourage anticipatory analysis and policy changes in Bosnia and Herzegovina towards modern and sustainable economic models.

“The Report is of exceptional importance as it provides the authorities and the economy in BiH with information and insight into practices and trends that are instrumental in planning and undertaking activities for the reduction and management of plastic waste. We believe that the Report’s recommendations will prove useful to decision-makers in accelerating the approximation of BiH regulations and policies to the European Union legislation. If there is no timely reaction in terms of limiting the placement of single-use plastic products on the market in BiH, there is a threat that the problem of packaging waste and its omnipresence in the environment will become even more prominent with products that are banned or restricted in the European Union finding their place on the market in BiH,” said Steliana Nedera, UNDP Resident Representative in BiH.

The Report which is available at https://www.ba.undp.org/content/bosnia_and_herzegovina/en/home/library/publications/SingleUsePlasticReport.html showcases concrete examples of the readiness of domestic companies to implement the Directive, presents an overview of the current state of transposition of the Directive, the regulatory framework, as well as progress in combating single-use plastics in selected EU Member States, countries in the region and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

UNDP in BiH will continue to focus its efforts on promoting modern waste management practices, success stories from communities and the private sector in BiH, and ways for individuals and businesses to influence lower consumption of single-use plastics.

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