Podgorica, 17 September 2018 - The EU Delegation in Montenegro marked the EU Beach Clean-up day by joining two nation-wide clean-up actions organised by local CSOs, as part of an effort to combat plastic pollution and reduce single-use plastic.
On 14 September, together with ambassadors of EU member states and local volunteers, the Head of EU Delegation Aivo Orav cleaned the locality of Virpazar, a small, historical settlement situated on Lake Skadar. The volunteers and ambassadors cleaned up the lake shores and the forest pathways, including the hill road to the 16th-century Besac Fortress, which was reconstructed with EU funds. The action was co-organised by local youth NGO Association for Democratic Prosperity – Zid as part of the global “Let’s Do It” movement. This year volunteers, with EU support, joined forces to clean up as much as 47 tons of illegal waste all over the country, including Virpazar at the Lake Skadar.
The following day, on Saturday 15 September, the EU Delegation staff, employees of “Morsko Dobro”, the state agency that manages the coast, and volunteers of the NGO “Zero Waste Montenegro” cleaned up Buljarica beach, one of the most beautiful Montenegrin beaches. More than a hundred volunteers collected some 50 bags of illegal waste. The waste, with special focus on single-use plastic, was sorted, screened and disposed of. Over the next days, Zero Waste will present the composition of the collected waste focusing on which plastic is most found on Montengro’s beaches and which companies produce it. Companies will be approached and encouraged to help educate their consumers to dispose the waste properly.
The two cleaning actions are part of a bigger nationwide EU campaign to reduce single-use plastic and introduce more sustainable solutions. Amongst other things, the EU Delegation through its EU Info Centre distributed reusable metal bottles and cloth bags during both events. The media campaign “Ready to Change – Beat Plastic Pollution” has already started on social media and, over the course of the next month, will continue with television ads on national TV stations as well as billboards throughout Montenegro. The goal is to encourage people to think about the impact of the daily choices they make, and raise awareness of the sustainable alternatives.