By Liljana Meshaj – Sarajevo
Management of Packaging Waste for ‘’Life in the Color of Nature’’
The project ”Ekoživot”, a new system operator in B&H authorized for the treatment of packaging waste, was officially presented in Tuzla recently. This event has attracted great attention with the B&H public, and on this occasion, the Director LidijaTomić spoke to IBNA about the programme’s goals.
Can you first present Ekoživotd.o.o.Tuzla to us? What kind of organization is this?
Ekoživotd.o.o. Tuzla is a nonprofit economic and environmental management system of packaging waste. It is a non-profit society in the sense that all of its revenue generated has the responsibility to direct the development of infrastructure in the management of packaging waste.
Who are the founders of Ekoživot? What is your mission?
The founders of Ekoživotd.o.o. Tuzla are: “Bingo” d.o.o. Tuzla, “MENPROM” d.o.o.Tuzla, “BONY” d.o.o.Tuzla, “TESCO” d.o.o.Tuzla, “DRAMAR-ing” d.o.o.Tuzla and “DINO KAFA” d.o.o. Tuzla. As you can see, the founders are respectable B&H companies from the area of Tuzla Canton, and with the establishment and running of such projects they have shown social responsibility. The obligation of paying compensation to participants of the management system for waste is prescribed in the Regulations on the management of packaging and packaging waste (Official Gazette ofFBiH number 88/11 and 28/13).
Fees are required to be paid by all payers of the system (importers, manufacturers, distributors, traders, etc). The fees can be paid to the Fund for Environmental Protection or the operator of the system, which in this case is EkoZivot.
Our mission is for all the profit from the invested fees, or more precisely what we invest, in establishing a solid and environmentally responsible system for using waste management and recycling as well as of course emphasizing and enhancing public awareness on the importance of this process for the environment in B&H.
You recently received a license by of an operator management for packaging waste? What does this license mean?
A license for an operator system for waste management was given by the FB&H Ministry of Environment and Tourism, and we received it on 25.03.14, by which we became an authorized operator of the system for packaging waste. The license implies that we have public authority for the establishment of a system of waste packaging management, to increase public awareness of the importance of the environment, nature and of course environmental protection.
After you received permission from the relevant ministries, you started have a cooperation with waste system gatherers in the FB&H? Who are all these collectors and what is their role?
Specifically, when filling out the conditions for obtaining a license from the relevant ministries one of them was the preliminary conclusion with a minimum of one collector at every canton. So we met this condition before applying for the permit and with small steps began cooperation with collectors.
After we received a license from the relavent ministry, we signed agreements with collectors involving cooperation that would be reflected in continuous collection, distribution, and other activities by the collectors. The entire management system would not be possible without collectors, who are the main link for the whole system.
Ekoživot was started by local companies, who are aware of the importance of this project. However, how much is the social community familiar with the importance of recycling?
Given the current overall situation in the country, we have to admit that it is not great. I think that the community has become more resolved in solving everyday existential problems rather than recycling and the environment.
It is also familiar to us that this topic is on the margins and was not present in sufficient measure in social activities and the media. We as operators will be extremely interested and we will devote our activities to the public such as the importance of recycling though a large number of seminars, education, information through our website, FB site, flyers and a variety of other activities.
You have recently launched an interesting action under the slogan of ‘Life in the Color of Nature’? What kind of action is this?
I have to emphasize that in addition to our experts from these areas there are several young people who offer daily pleasant surprises with their excellent ideas and one of them was an action that we recently published on our Facebook page. This is an action called ‘one like one wood’, which in principle represents one aspect of raising awareness of including a large number of people in the very topics and issues related to the environment, conservation and environmental protection.
Everyone knows that trees produce oxygen, that forests are the ‘green lungs’ of the planet, they prevent erosion, reduce the emission of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, serve as a source of food, protection, etc. With this action, we will plant as many trees as there are ‘likes’ on Facebook. This idea seemed reasonable to us because we are aware of the importance of the role the social networks play in the lives of people and those who visit the site Ekoživot on Facebook will need at least 2-3 minutes to look over the page, our activities, information and therefore we were better able to create an interest for the social community to reflect about life in the color of nature.