Entries by Špela Gutnik

Novo mesto promotes the development of circular economy

Following the example of the KEMSO circular model, the Municipality of Novo mesto decided to develop new circular loops, thru which they will reuse some household waste. In the NoviKrog project, where several local partners participate, materials are currently being collected and tested. Therefore, primary schools and kindergartens in eight municipalities from Dolenjska region, collected used plastic waste and batteries, from which new useful products are already being created.


MMC project generates significant environmental savings – this ciruclar solution reduced CO2 emissions that are generated by 483 cars in one year

At the meeting of eco-coordinators of Dolenjska primary schools, we presented the environmental effects of the Municipal Material Cycle programme in Slovenia.

Among other things, we calculated that the average primary school saves about 2,500 kg of CO2 emissions in 1 year by using hygienic paper made from used beverage cartons. This is what the average car generates in 1 year (at 145 g/km and 17,000 kilometres).

Today, the municipal material cycle is successfully operating in 17 municipalities across Slovenia, which have collected and reused 1,627 tons of beverage cartons by the end of August 2023. The total CO2 savings of this circular project are 1,208,195 kilograms, the same as 483 cars generates in 1 year.

Global Earth Overshoot Day 2023: August 2

In 2023, the Global Footprint Network declared August 2nd the World Earth Overshoot Day. This is the day we are entering a period of ecological debt on a global level – so when we have used up resources that the planet can replenish in a year. In Slovenia, however, we have been living “on the account of nature” since April 18.

The European Union has committed to an ambitious climate policy – with the Green Deal, it aims to become the carbon-neutral by 2050. To this end, the EU is also modernizing existing legislation and adopting new laws that will help achieve the ambitious goal.

But we will not only achieve the green transition through new rules and stricter regulation. It is important to change the way we think and act, and it is essential to reformulate our fundamental values.

Innovation in renewable energy, sustainable mobility, food security, technology development and the transition to a low-carbon circular economy should be encouraged.

Circular Shield is actively working towards the implementation of green solutions, the development of innovative and circular public procurement and education for sustainability.

With the Municipal Material Cycle program, 17 Slovenian local communities have reused 1,500 tons of beverage cartons packaging waste of July 2023, thus preserving 18,300 trees.

The landmark EU anti-deforestation Regulation (EUDR) enters into force.

We, in our Circular Shield team, are happy to promote the forest conservation topic in the core of our project Municipal Material Cycle and therefore we are happy to inform partners and supporters about legislative news.

What is the EUDR?

On 29 June 2023, the Regulation on deforestation-free products (EUDR) entered into force. The main driver of these processes is the expansion of agricultural land that is linked to the production of commodities like soy, beef, palm oil, wood, cocoa, coffee, rubber and some of their derived products, such as leather, chocolate, tyres, or furniture. As a major economy and consumer of these commodities linked to forest degradation, the EU is partly responsible for this problem and it wants to lead the way to solving it.

The EUDR's main goal is to reduce the EU's impact on global deforestation by promoting the consumption of ‘deforestation-free’ products.

What are objectives of EUDR?

In line with the 2019 Communication on Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests, the EU aims to improve the health of existing forests, and significantly increase sustainable, biodiverse forest coverage worldwide.

The EU has five main priorities

  1. reduce the footprint of EU consumption on land and encourage EU consumption of products from deforestation-free supply chains
  2. work in partnership with producer countries to reduce pressures on forests
  3. strengthen international cooperation to halt deforestation and forest degradation and encourage forest restoration
  4. redirect finance to support more sustainable land-use practices
  5. support the availability and quality of information on forests and commodity supply chains, the access to that information, and support research and innovation


Around 10% of the world’s forests, an area larger than the European Union, have been lost worldwide through deforestation over the past 30 years, and about 10% of forests globally are severely fragmented with little or no connectivity. While this is not a new phenomenon, the current scale and pace of destruction is alarming. This magnitude of destruction has significant social, economic and environmental impacts, locally and globally.

Deforestation is one of main drivers of climate change and biodiversity loss, and the EU contributes to it by consuming a significant share of products associated with deforestation. The EU, therefore, has the responsibility to contribute to ending it.

The EUDR prohibits placing or exporting products in/from the EU market that do not comply with its legality and sustainability requirements.


Article: https://environment.ec.europa.eu/news/green-deal-new-law-fight-global-deforestation-and-forest-degradation-driven-eu-production-and-2023-06-29_sl


Young people on their way to a circular economy

In the school year 2022/23, Circular Shield Slovenia included over 1,000 children in education about circular practices.

Waste from one industry should become raw material for another. Materials that are disposed of by people in waste bins are also suitable for reuse and recycling.

Therefore it is important to learn how to handle waste and packaging waste in the proper way, so that we enable waste management companies, EPR companies and industry to sort out and reuse useful materials. 

Children are already learning about the proper management of waste in kindergartens and schools. Circular Shield is also active in providing education modules and workshops in the Municipal Material Cycle program at schools. We teach kids about waste prevention, proper management of waste materials, the reuse and circular practices. The good news is that young people respond very positively to this kind of information and that they share these skills with enthusiasm.


Green transition is possible only with cooperation of all stakeholders and by raising awareness among people

Achieving climate neutrality by 2050, stimulating the economy with green technology, creating sustainable industry and transport, and reducing pollution are the key points of the European Green Deal. At the event organized by CER Slovenia, the mayors of three Slovenian city municipalities and representatives of the economy presented their views on how to accelerate the achievement of the goals of the green transition.

As an example of good practice, the mayor of Municipality of Novo mesto, Gregor Macedoni, pointed out the circular business model Municipal Material Cycle Novo mesto, which connected all municipal public institutions with a joint green public procurement and which brings several environmental, social and financial benefits to the local community.

Changing people's consciousness is an important challenge faced by Slovenian cities. Namely, more than 90% of all working Slovenes work in cities, which means a great burden, also for transport infrastructure and the environment. "This also generates challenges and adaptations and requires cooperation among companies, cities and the state", explained Gregor Macedoni, Mayor of Novo mesto.

"We have to be aware that we are a transit country, and we have traffic problems. Cars stand still on our roads every day. The development of the railway network is necessary. We are actually thirty years late," commented Zoran Jankovič, Mayor of Ljubljana.

"We need greater strategic thinking about where the country is going. Maribor is about 15 kilometers away from the fifth most developed region in Europe. You can imagine the impact their power has on the brain drain and the departure of the workforce," points out Saša Arsenovič, Mayor of Maribor.

More about the content of the event: http://cer-slo.si/s-sodelovanjem-in-skupno-strategijo-do-hitrejsega-zelenega-prehoda-18-05-2023.html

ECO DAY at Orehek Primary School in Kranj

To celebrate the Earth Day, OREHEK Primary School hosted the event in cooperation with Komunala Kranj, Circular Shield and other partners. Several activities and environmental workshops were organized. Ms Manja Zorko Deputy Mayor of the City of Kranj also attended the event in support to the headmaster Drago Zalar and teachers.

The event is an excellent opportunity for children and teachers to refresh their knowledge about our responsibilites towards the environment and to learn something new. Circular Shield team also participated in ECO DAY – we presented how used beverage cartons can be recycled. The school already uses hygiene paper made from locally collected used beverage cartons. This is an important contribution to protecting trees, increasing recycling of local waste and also reducing the carbon footprint.

We are pleased and proud that P.S. Orehek is a member of the Municipal Material Cycle Kranj. The project is being organized by Circular Shield in partnership with Komunala Kranj, the City of Kranj, and municipalities Šenčur, Naklo, Preddvor and Jezersko.



Earth Day 2023

For the past 50 years, Earth Day has been celebrated by billions of people around the globe, annually every April 22, to join together in promoting awareness for the health of our environment and sustainable development. This year, World Earth Day is being held under the slogan "Invest in our planet".

On this day, we come together to show our support for the planet and make pledges to do our part in protecting it. All of us can contribute to the environment by planting trees, cleaning up waste, and reducing our dependence on non-renewable resources like fossil fuels.

Circular Shield Slovenia team spent the Earth day in Novo mesto, together with children from elementary schools and kindergartens from the Municipality of Novo mesto and surrounding municipalities. With the aim of emphasizing the importance of separate collection and reuse of waste materials, together with Komunala Novo mesto, the Knof institute and other local promoters of sustainability, we prepared presentations of products made from recycled materials. At our stand, we demonstrated the pulper show - the presentation of recycling UBC in a paper production.   




March 18 – Global Recycling Day

Global Recycling Day was created in 2018 to help recognise, and celebrate, the importance recycling plays in preserving our precious primary resources and securing the future of our planet. It is a day for the world to come together and put the planet first.

The mission of Global Recycling Day, as set out by the Global Recycling Foundation, is twofold:

  1. To tell world leaders that recycling is simply too important not to be a global issue, and that a common, joined up approach to recycling is urgently needed.
  2. To ask people across the planet to think resource, not waste, when it comes to the goods around us – until this happens, we simply won’t award recycled goods the true value and repurpose they deserve.


Circular Shield became the Recycling Hero 2022!

Circular Shield has been awarded Recycling Hero 2022 in the start-up category with our circular project Municipal Material Cycle in which we motivate public institutions and companies to start using the hygiene paper made of reclycled beverage cartons that were collected within their local communcity.


Circular Shield d.o.o. is a new member of the SRIP network – circular economy

In January 2023, Circular Shield d.o.o. became a member of the Strategic Research and Innovation Partnership – Networks for the transition into circular economy (SRIP – Circular economy). This further strengthened our commitment to actively participate in the promotion and introduction of circular culture in Slovenia.

SRIP – Circular economy, managed by the chamber of commerce and industry of the Štajerska region of Slovenia, is a connection of the Slovenian economy, educational, research and development institutions, non-governmental organizations, the state and other interested public and private institutions, which connect into new value chains.

The SRIP vision – Circular economy aims to achieve a sustainable increase in the efficiency and competitiveness of Slovenia’s businesses in the transition to a circular economy. All members strive to contribute to enhance visibility of Slovenia as the centre (‘hub’) of the circular economy, which will set a reference standard for top experts and foreign investors with its knowledge, research and development infrastructure, breakthrough technologies and services and a supportive regulatory environment.

By meeting the set goals, all the members of the SRIP – Circular economy will also contribute to the fulfilment of the goals of the Slovenian Smart Specialisation Strategy and the development of entrepreneurship.