Date: 18. November 2019
Time to read: 3 min
Slovenia is one of the cleanest and most environment-friendly countries in the world. It is the only country with a zero-waste capital where green tourism is also on the rise. Slovenia’s goal is to be a green country ensuring its people health, safety and sustainability.
It is no coincidence that Slovenia has succeeded in doing this and that it is still developing in this direction.
At the end of January 2014, the Ecologists Without Borders Association became a member of Zero Waste Europe and thus the national organisation through the Zero waste Slovenia programme.
Zero waste Slovenia manages the national network of municipalities and monitors their progress in achieving zero-waste goals. The group promotes zero waste at the national level and establishes a platform for cooperation and integration with companies and politics.
Europe’s first green capital
In 2014, the Municipality of Ljubljana was the first capital in Europe to set the goal of becoming a zero-waste city. Through activities and effective communication about the importance of reducing waste and its re-use, the need for an incineration plant was eliminated, and Ljubljana also became the European Green Capital 2016.
- Ljubljana proudly holds the title of European Green Capital 2016. Photo: Henglein and Steets-GettyImages/GulliverFilm&Foto
- Exploring Ljubljana with a bicycle. Photo: Dražen Štader, Produkcija Studio/www.slovenia.info
- Drinking fountain at Kongresni trg square in Ljubljana. Photo: Nea Culpa d. o. o./www.slovenia.info
- Library Under the Treetops. Photo: Andrej Tarfila/www.slovenia.info
As early as in 2002, Ljubljana adopted the measures for separate collection of paper, glass and packaging in roadside bins. The collection of biodegradable waste from door to door started four years later, which will become mandatory across Europe in 2023.
In 2008, the city recycled only 29.3% of its waste; it now recycles 68%. As a result, 80% less waste ends up at the city landfill, which places Ljubljana at the top of European cities according to the percentage of recycled waste.
With its waste management system, it is a true role model for other European countries and it is likely to attain its objective of at least 75% recycled waste by 2025.
In addition to Ljubljana, Vrhnika, Log-Dragomer, Borovnica, Gorje, Radovljica, Slovenske Konjice and Žalec have also committed to sustainable development. Ecologists Without Borders monitor and guide them on their way to becoming a zero-waste society or a society with less waste. With systematic work, the municipalities prevented the generation of least 15,750 tonnes of mixed municipal waste and thus saved EUR 3 million.
Slovenia wishes to remain a green destination and positive changes are also noticeable in tourism. Restaurants, hotels and other tourist accommodation facilities are introducing zero-waste measures and are striving to reduce waste by collecting it separately. In this way, they also contribute to Slovenia’s sustainability goals.
Hotel Ribno is the first Slovenian hotel to have obtained the title of a zero-waste hotel.
After an intensive two-year implementation of measures to reduce waste and its separate collection, the hotel succeeded in reaching a 92% separate collection rate, which would not have been possible without the commitment of its management and staff.
In addition to separate waste collection, the event organisers of Jurjevanje in Bela krajina, Art kamp and (Z)mešani festival also introduced measures for their prevention. They cut the use of disposable plastics and installed drinking fountains at their venues. Their responsible attitude towards the environment is also highlighted in their programmes.
Slovenia has a clear goal and we are already on the right path today. Everyone must become involved so that the country we feel remains beautiful and green. We grow in number every day. Be green and responsible. Be zero waste.