During its last session on August 30, 2021, the City Council of Dubrovnik adopted the Decision on Restricting the Use of Disposable Plastics for all public administrative bodies, institutions and companies owned by the City of Dubrovnik, as well as all public events.
This follows the City’s recent adoption of the City Action Plan to reduce plastic pollution for the period 2021-2026, when in April 2021, the City of Dubrovnik committed to take measures and actions to reduce its amount of disposed plastic waste by 30% in a pilot area by 2022, and by 55% at the city level by 2025.
The August City Council decision follows the City Action Plan with mandates that disposable plastic cups, cutlery, coffee mugs and spoons, straws, bags, beverages, cleaning and personal hygiene products be replaced with with reusable alternatives made from metal, glass, wood/bamboo, ceramics, or single-use environmentally preferable alternatives (i.e. paper bags or returnable beverage packaging. While plastic water bottles are not explicitly banned, there is a measure requiring that the supply of beverages and other liquids be exclusively in returnable packaging, whenever possible.
Primary schools, museums, utility companies, tourist boards, theaters, some sport complexes and similar are all included in the resolution; however hospitals, secondary schools and universities are not under the authority of local city government, and are therefor outside the scope of the city mandate.
The decision covers a total of 10 key measures:
- placing containers for separate waste collection (plastic, paper, glass, electronic waste, biowaste, mixed municipal waste, etc.) in appropriate places within institutions and separating waste at the place of origin, whenever possible, as well as ensuring adequate transportation and disposal of all separately collected waste
- digitization of documents and promotion of the use of electronic documents among employees and officials whenever possible
- replacement of disposable plastic cups with glass or other reusable cups
- replacement of disposable plastic straws with reuse solutions (straws made of alternative materials such as paper, bamboo, steel)
- replacement of disposable plastic cutlery and plastic coffee spoons with reusable metal utensils or available alternatives made of natural and biodegradable or compostable materials (wood, paper, fiber, sugar cane, bamboo cane, etc.)
- ensuring the possibility of using reusable cups on coffee and water machines, ie completely eliminating the use of disposable plastic cups
- ensuring the supply of beverages and other liquids exclusively in returnable packaging whenever possible
- replacing all disposable plastic bags with reusable tote or paper bags whenever possible
- gradual replacement and procurement of office supplies and hygiene supplies without plastic packaging whenever possible
- gradual replacement and procurement of cleaning and personal hygiene products with environmentally friendly ingredients (such as natural cleaning products) and the use of reusable products to reduce the generation of packaging waste.
A version of this story was originally published by Sunce Split.