Entries by Špela Gutnik

July 28th, 2022 – Earth Overshoot Day

Today is Global Earth Overshoot Day. This means that, according to the Calculations of the Global Footprint Network, we have already used all natural resources as the Earth is able to produce or restore within a year. Unfortunately, the Slovenian Overshoot Day was recorded already on April 18th.

The ecological debt we have been creating for more than half a century has led to a major biodiversity loss, an increase in CO2 emissions and a reduced food and energy security. The consequences are visible – we are facing with extremely high temperatures, frequent droughts and fires and other natural disasters.

We have a great challenge ahead of us – we must adapt and learn to live with available resources. Solutions are in innovation in energy management, the development of technologies with a lower carbon footprint and more efficient use of natural materials. Operating according to the principles of circular economy, to which business users are also encouraged by Circular Shield, represents an important step towards solving this global problem.

Slovenia inspires Slovakia on the road to a circular economy

We are pleased to have helped to organize the Slovak-Slovenian meeting of representatives of organisations dedicated to sustainable waste management and transition to circular economy.

Representatives of NATUR-PACK, INCIEN and City of Senec as the first partner of the Municipal Material Circle project in Slovakia visited the Regional Waste Management Centre (RCERO Ljubljana), one of the most modern plants of this kind in the EU.

The municipal waste management system in Ljubljana and, for comparison, in the Slovak cities of Bratislava and Senec, then EPR systems (producer responsibility organisations), the direction of Ljubljana and Slovenia towards sustainability were discussed.

In support of the principles of the circular economy, Ljubljana is involved in the Municipal Material Cycle project in Slovenia.

By recycling the separately collected beverage cartons, it thus provides a secondary source of pulp for hygiene paper products used in municipal institutions.

Kids in Senec help to give second life to beverage cardboards

Pupils from the Primary School on Tajovský Street in Senec had fun and learned something new at an environmental lecture from Daphne – Institute of Applied Ecology.

The programme focuses on the importance and proper recycling of beverage cartons – also called "tetrapaks".

Did you know that beverage cartons need to be emptied, squeezed and stored in yellow containers after use? Thanks to recycling, they will then become new useful paper products.

For schools in Senec, the program is free of charge thanks to cooperation with OZV NATUR-PACK.

The program is inspired by the Municipal Material Cycle project in Senec. We are delighted that it was cheerful and creative.





Circular Shield presented among pioneers of reuse at Zero waste conference

At the annual Zero waste conference of municipalities, we studied trends in resource and waste management.


We shared the experience about challenges we face in practice at the round table together with the Knof Institute and ZEOS.


In Slovenia, there are already 16 municipalities in the Zero waste network. Together they reduced 18,600 tons of waste, thus saving € 4,200,000 in costs and reduced 10,000 tons of CO2 emissions.


Photography: Boštjan Selinšek

Recycling of used beverage cartons at Orehek Elementary School

The celebration of Earth day was held at the Orehek Elementary School in May. Children, teachers and local suppliers organized several workshops and presentations of good practice of reuse.


In cooperation with local waste management company Komunala Kranj we presented how to produce paper from used beverage cartons. The primary school and kindergarten Orehek are the first users of recycled hygienic paper from their local Municipal material cycle.


At the end of the celebration, the mayor Matjaž Rakovec and the headmaster Drago Zalar planted a walnut tree on the school jard – as a symbol of a greener future.


Municipal Material Cycle in the video story

The Municipal Material Cycle of used beverage cartons and hygienic paper is now presented in a demonstration video story. It illustrates the integration and cooperation of strategic partners in the cycle.

Video demonstrates this circular economy project on a real case study – it all starts with placing the used beverage carton in the appropriate waste bin, so the municipal waste management company can collect the material and deliver it to the collection center. In the following steps the cardboard from the beverage cartons is reproduced into hygiene paper products. In the final step, the local distributor takes care of the supply and delivery of these products to the local institutions in the same local community.

The main purpose of this video is to demonstrate that there is no need to cut down trees to produce hygiene paper. Used beverage cartons are sufficient enough.

The video was produced in cooperation with our MMC project partners: Osnovna šola Zadobrova, Ljubljana, JP Voka Snaga Ljubljana and Valtex.




Children in Brežice organised the collection of used beverage cartons

In cooperation with Komunala Brežice primary schools and kindergartens in the municipality of Brežice organised the collection of used beverage cartons in April.

The packaging waste collection is an upgrade of the local circular economy program Municipal Material Cycle Brežice, that helps children understand the importance of waste separation, care for the environment and the importance of reuse of materials.

There is no need to cut down trees in order to produce hygiene paper. Used beverage cartons are sufficient. 




In Trnava the Municipal Material Cycle will be presented during Earth Day

At the heart of the Municipal Material Cycle (MMC) project is the local model of circular economy.

The project produces hygienic paper (paper towels, toilet paper), which is exceptional because it is made of cellulose obtained by regeneration of cardboard beverage packaging (so-called tetrapak).

The products of paper thus made may then be used by schools and institutions in the municipalities where the packaging was collected.

In Slovakia, the Trnava City participated in the municipal material circle project among the first cities.

The project promotes sustainable behaviour, because the purposeful collection and processing of cardboard beverage packaging will make the waste a useful raw material for paper production. This saves natural resources, especially it is not necessary to cut down trees, from which hygienic paper is usually made. "We citizens of Trnava care about living in a healthy environment and together we want to lead our children to do so. Therefore, I am glad that Trnava is one of the first cities in Slovakia to participate in the municipal material circle project," said Tibor Pekarčík, Vice Mayor of Trnava.

In Trnava, the Municipal Material Circle (MMC) was established following the model of a successful project in Slovenia, where the first municipalities and institutions participated six years ago. Now MMC is expanding across borders, and the first country to be given the green light is Slovakia.

Partners of the project are FCC Trnava, which provides collection of separate wastes, as well as ENVI-PAK, an organization of producer responsibility for packaging.

Senec established the first MMC in Slovakia

In Slovakia, Senec is the first city that developed the Municipal Material Cycle - closed material loop of locally collected used beverage cartons and recycled hygiene paper for local institutions and companies.

The official start of the project was announced at today's celebration of Earth Day 2022. Local schools, companies and project partners participated at the event and developed a rich programme for children and adults.

At the heart of the municipal material circle project is the production of paper from pulp obtained by recycling collected cardboard beverage packaging known as tetrapaks. Products made of such paper can then be used by citizens in institutions in the municipality where the packaging has been collected, thus creating their own model of the circular economy.

Together with partners: the Senec Municipality the EPR NATURPACK, the waste management company AVE and the paper supplier Damito and Circular Shield the first Municipal Material Cycle in Slovakia has been established.

"There is no need to cut down trees in order to produce hygiene paper. Used beverage cartons are sufficient."




Trnava is encouraging circular economy

The Mayor of the Slovenian Municipality of Novo mesto, Gregor Macedoni, welcomed the representatives of the management of the partner town of Trnava in Slovakia, who visited Novo mesto as part of a study visit on the topic of good practices of the circular economy. They discussed the joint green and circular public procurement of paper hygiene products made from recycled UBC and also other circular economy solutions that are in place in Novo mesto.


After visiting the town hall, the delegation of the city of Trnava also visited the Pedenjped kindergarten, which boasts many projects in the field of the circular economy and enthusiastically spreads ecological awareness among the youngest citizens and their parents.


In an interview, deputy mayors of Trnava Eva Nemčovská and Tibor Pekarčík pointed out that Trnava has been intensively implementing projects in the area of sustainable mobility and the use of technological solutions for the development of a smart city in the last four years, exchanging many experiences with Novo mesto, especially since they are comparable in terms of population. In the area of the circular economy, Trnava is starting to work more actively and they might follow some of the Novo mesto practises that are already showing possitive effects for the local community.

Trnava is about to start the first Slovak Municipal Material Cycle.