New public calls of the Fund worth HRK 34.5 million


Today the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund launched three public calls worth HRK 34.5 million. The calls cover different waste management activities – from remediation of dumpsites and removal of car wrecks from islands, to reducing the use of plastics in protected areas.
As a follow-up to last year’s remediation of the areas polluted with fly-tipping – dump sites clean-ups – the programme will continue in 2022.  The units of local self-government will have HRK 15.5 million available for dump sites clean-up actions and they will be able to get co-financing in the amount of 40, 60 or 80%, or the maximum of 800,000 kunas. An additional 15 million kunas have been earmarked for the Roma settlements where, pursuant to the Operational Programme for National Minorities, the removal of waste will be financed in full.
To ensure the financing, local units first have to define the locations in their ownership or state ownership and obtain the quotes for drafting the Plan for remediation and removal together with expert supervision. To promote circular economy, it is planned to extract useful waste fractions that will be handed over to licensed collectors as part of remediation, while the remaining waste should be disposed of in a regulated landfill.
Another programme similar to remediation of dumpsites is the removal of car wrecks on islands, and despite the fact that the Fund has been organising  this action since 2007, some can, unfortunately, still be found discarded in the environment. Since their owners are mainly unknown, these cars are not in the end-of-life vehicles management system but have to be removed due to the damage they cause to the environment, and correctly disposed of. Around 80 car wrecks were removed in the last year’s programme, which included islands, nature parks and national parks. The particularity of this year’s Call for the expression of interest is the fact it is intended specifically for the units of local self-government on islands i.e., the units they administratively belong to. After the relevant data on the locations and number of car wrecks are collected, the Fund will prepare  the implementation plan and start the drive for their removal.
The landfilling of waste is the last resort in the waste management hierarchy, and priority should aways be given to activities that will reduce waste generation. In this process, it is especially important to reduce the quantity of plastics, whose use increased 20 times  over the last 50 years and today accounts for more than 80% of marine debris. Pursuant to the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive, its production has already been significantly reduced. However, the goal is to additionally reduce the need for its use and to promote its recycling and a more sustainable use.
Correspondingly, this year the Fund will launch the programme entitled “Plastic free zone” intended for national parks and nature parks, which should be the paradigm of the best practice in using sustainable materials as well as change drivers. Under the launched call worth 4 million kunas, public institutions will be able to get co-financing for education projects and procurement of services and equipment that will result in the reduction of disposable plastic products, as well as the removal of waste plastics and other types of waste in the protected nature aeras. For these activities, individual applicants will be able to get grant funding amounting to HRK 150,000. The Call also puts focus on information campaigns, promotions, and education of the public, all with the aim of reducing the environmental footprint and preserving the ecosystems.
All activities being financed will ultimately contribute to the waste management goals, as well  achieving the goals in the national and European climate policy as the linchpin of sustainable development over the next three decades.