Only two companies in Serbia have an Eco label

The eco label is proof of the quality and responsibility of companies to operate in accordance with environment preservation, but still, in Serbia, the products of only two companies carry this national mark, compared to 80,000 companies in the European Union. In order to encourage a greater number of businesses to apply, within a meeting of NALED’s Environment Protection Alliance, NALED and UNDP, in cooperation with the line ministry, announced the provision of free professional support with the preparation of documents along with additional information days for all those who express interest.

Although the eco label has been awarded in Serbia since 2009, it has not been sufficiently promoted, which is why interest has never taken off to a greater extent. After 14 years, it is a current topic again, because with the adoption of the Program for the Development of the Circular Economy, companies will have to turn more towards sustainable development, and the state will start to show its care for the environment through green public procurement, whereby the possession of the Eco sign will be one of the decisive criteria for awarding the tender.

The criteria for obtaining the Eco label are fully aligned with the EU criteria, which would help domestic companies to achieve competitiveness in the foreign market, where it is very important whether companies reduce the consumption of electricity, harmful substances, natural resources, waste generation and recycling.

At the meeting of the Alliance, it was pointed out that everyone who wants to join the initiative "Eco label for a more competitive product" can apply for professional assistance until June 26, via e-mail addresses, (Rade Ostojić, Head of group for the application of voluntary instruments in life protection) and (Sanja Knežević Mitrović, Policy Manager), and the deadline for applications to obtain the Eco-label is July 6 .

On this occasion, members of the Alliance also discussed the improvement of the packaging waste management system. As one of the problems, significant amounts of packaging that are not reported and do not enter the system were highlighted, and without them, there is no real figure on the amounts that end up in landfills. The introduction of these companies into the fee system is also important because they represent unfair competition for a responsible economy that conscientiously fulfills its obligations and bears all the costs of waste management.

The European Commission in the latest report of 18 member states that are at risk of not meeting the goals by 2025, and one of the tips was to improve data monitoring.

An important topic was the continuation of the consultation process regarding the introduction of a deposit system for the collection of packaging waste, because the current method of collection was assessed as insufficient for reaching the goals set by the European Union. The "Smart Recycle" project, which is currently being piloted in Zrenjanin, shows that it is a good practice to have deposit machines in public locations, such as city squares, colleges, schools, etc., in addition to commercial establishments, in order to make them more accessible to citizens and enable them to recycle all types of packaging.

NALED presented the members with other current projects such as the Solid Waste Program in Serbia, in which the association provides support to the Ministry of Environmental Protection in the construction of seven regional centers for waste management and a cross-border cooperation project that will be aimed at the development of primary selection in five cities and municipalities in Serbia and Montenegro.

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