Entries by Niko Kumar

Javni holding Ljubljana received the good practice award for the municipal material cycle of used beverage cartons and hygiene paper

Under the name "Common Green", Public Holding Ljubljana applied to the IPOP Institute's tender with their municipal material cycle of used beverage cartons and hygiene paper which currently includes 39 public companies and institutions in Ljubljana. This is a circular economy project where recycled used beverage cartons from the existing municipal waste management system are used instead of primary raw materials in the production process of hygienic paper.

In its selection among the 15 best, the evaluation committee justified it as follows: »the common and green public procurement system represents great potential for all municipalities, which have the power to invest in local and green development through smart public procurement«.

The IPOP institute published tender »Cities to cities« and invited Slovenian municipalities to submit their good practices for sustainable urban development. 29 projects from 13 municipalities entered the competition. Members of evaluation board were Tomaž Miklavčič from the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, Mojca Švajger from the Municipality of Tržič and Nina Plevnik and Petra Očkerl from IPoP.

The project is part of the URBACT program, whose mission is to promote and support sustainable urban development. Selected municipalities with good practices will receive City to city award, which includes publication in the City to city catalogue #3, websites and social networks promotion and presentation at the event.

Additional information and the list of all 15 awarded projects is available HERE.

Over 200 tons of used beverage cartons recycled this year

The project of creating municipal material cycles (MMC) makes an important contribution to the development of circular culture and circular economy in Slovenia. Project activities were carried out uninterruptedly throughout the whole year in all 10 member municipalities, and at the end of the year we are recording very encouraging results.

In cooperation with the public waste management companies Voka Snaga Ljubljana, Komunala Novo mesto and Komunala Brežice, we managed to collect and recycle more than 200 tons of used beverage cartons this year, which represents more than 560 m3 of waste in volume. In doing so, the municipalities have provided a raw material for the production of recycled hygiene paper, which is now used by already 67 local public institutions and companies, and we plan to join some new ones in the short term. We also plan to expand the project to new municipalities in Slovenia in 2021.

By becoming an active member of the project, our partners made a commitment to use secondary sources of raw materials to produce hygiene paper that they use on their premises. By doing so, they preserved 2,800 trees from being cut and they reduced the CO2 emissions for 176,110 kg.

Municipalities – members of municipal material cycles:

  • Ljubljana
  • Novo mesto
  • Brežice
  • Dolenjske Toplice
  • Mirna Peč
  • Straža
  • Šentjernej
  • Škocjan
  • Šmarješke Toplice
  • Žužemberk

Expansion of the team and daring plans for the 2021

The project of creating municipal material cycles (MMC) has been very active and fruitful even during the epidemic lockdown. We are intensively preparing ourselves for the activation of new members and have onboarded a new member of the project team. In the following year, we will strive hard for the additional expansion of the project in several regions throughout Slovenia and elsewhere.

Špela Gutnik has been chosen to take over the position of National Coordinator of the project in Slovenia to ensure additional progress of this important circular economy project.  For the last ten years, she’s been managing sales and marketing in one of the biggest Slovenian media companies. As a project manager she’s been actively involved in business development, implementing communication strategies and digitalization of the company. Her wide range of knowledge and experience in business management, sales and marketing will be a great asset in developing the MMC projects in Slovenia. As National coordinator, she is going to be in charge of creating new MMCs and reviving and attracting new members in municipalities, where MMC is already active.

The first and most important role of creating new MMCs is to increase awareness of the municipal corporations and members of the local public that they can encourage more sustainable development of their community. In other words – if they change the way of waste placement from their community, they are going to impact positively on the long-term development of community, business and environment in that community.

The municipal material cycle can be set up in any municipality or city in the EU that has has a municipal waste separation system in place.

Since waste separation is being efficiently set in majority of municipalities in Slovenia, the process of establishing new MMC’s should not be complicated. And cases that we have set up to this point show that establishing MMC is very important for the local communities also in terms of ecology.

As illustration, we are listing the following figures:

  • the MMC has been successfully established in 10 municipalities in Slovenia; thus, the project covers 18,5 % of the total population;
  • by now 17 million pcs (600 tonnes) of used beverage cartons have been collected;
  • by now the project in total contributed to the 7.789 trees from being cut and reduced the CO2 emissions for 486.000 kg.

As MMC pioneers, Ljubljana, Novo mesto area and Brežice represent a valuable source of information and benchmarks, on the basis of which we can plan further development of the project.

We will strive to deliver the best possible results: we would like to double the number of residents in active MMC’s by the end of 2021.

Our mission is and remains the “Circular Culture”

On a global level, renewable resources are limited, and we are facing intensive population growth. To enable long-term sustainability, we need to start managing those resources much more economically – by extending their life-cycle and finding ways to reuse them.

 

This is exactly what we are doing with activating MMCs – in cooperation with municipalities, municipal corporations and residents, we are changing the purpose of existing waste management system. We are helping to transform it into a circular model. Beverage cartons, collected with a purpose in local communities are being submitted for regeneration process, to become a source of raw materials for new paper hygiene products. Those products are returned to the same local communities where the beverage cartons were collected as a source of raw material. That's how the material cycle is closed.

 

Slovenia is using 3 planets worth of renewable resources

In 2020 Earth Overshoot Day landed on August 22nd , while according to EOD statistics, Slovenia has used all their renewable resources already by April 26th .

By establishing MMCs, where we enable and promote reuse of beverage cartons, we directly influence on the improvement of ecological statistics of Slovenia. We sincerely hope to be able to significantly stimulate the Circular Economy and promote sustainable development.