The amount of waste generated in Slovenia is constantly growing, as well as the amount of municipal waste. So, it is very important to develop a strategy of municipal waste management – at least for waste that can be reused or recycled. Very good example is used beverage cartons, that can be collected and transformed to high quality hygiene paper products.
Instead of using primary resources (wood), the recycled hygiene paper is made of cellulose from used beverage cartons, that Slovenian residents dispose in yellow waste containers.
Material cycles of used beverage cartons and recycled hygiene paper are successfully operating in 10 Slovenian municipalities: Ljubljana, Novo mesto, Brežice, Mirna Peč, Žužemberk, Dolenjske Toplice, Škocjan, Šentjernej, Straža, Šmarješke Toplice. More than 18% of Slovenian population lives in the participating municipalities.
Used beverage cartons leave these municipalities as a waste and return back transformed to a useful high quality hygiene paper products. These recycled paper products are then used in public institutions (municipal offices, schools, kindergartens, healthy centres, cultural and sports facilities, libraries, etc.) and some private companies in the same municipalities where the waste were collected. By today, these municipalities have collected and transformed over 640 tons of used beverage cartons.
Our aim is to replicate this practice soon on a large scale across Slovenia. This circular economy case would help Slovenia to improve its municipal waste recycling rate.