World Bank Supports Croatia in Improving Waste Management and Transition to a Circular Economy

The Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Tomislav Ćorić and the World Bank Country Manager for Croatia, Elisabetta Capannelli, signed yesterday an agreement under which the World Bank will provide technical assistance to support the Government of Croatia in the transformation of its solid waste management system. The technical assistance will help incorporate circular economy approaches into Croatia’s post-2022 National Waste Management Plan (NWMP) in line with European Union (EU) Directives and the Circular Economy Package.

At present, Croatia is lagging on EU waste prevention targets, mainly due to low technical and financial capacity of municipalities to handle and separate waste collection and improve recycling.

Under the two-year technical assistance program, the World Bank will help update the existing National Waste Management Plan, provide diagnostic work and, based on the analysis, recommend how to speed up transformation in line with the EU circular economy action plan. It will also help engage with key stakeholders, strengthen coordination and generate joint ownership of the new solid waste agenda, and provide capacity building on circular economy.

“In the coming years, it will be challenging to meet the objectives we have before us, meaning that by the end of 2020 we must separate and recycle 50% of paper, metal, plastic and glass. We must also take action to meet even more demanding goals, such as, increasing waste separation and recycling to 65% and reducing waste disposal to 10% by 2035. During the last three years, the Ministry, in cooperation with local self-government units, counties and the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund, has been actively carrying out activities to provide the necessary infrastructure for establishing an efficient waste management system at local and regional levels with tangible results. This Agreement represents a step forward in the transformation to a circular economy that will contribute to the creation of a new and more modern framework for the National Waste Management Plan,” said Tomislav Ćorić, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of the Republic of Croatia.

“Turning waste into a resource is the essence of a circular economy. If we re-manufacture, reuse and recycle, and if one industry’s waste becomes another’s raw material, we can move to a more circular economy where waste is minimized and resources are used in an efficient and sustainable way. By improving waste management, Croatia can reduce health and environmental problems, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avoid negative impacts at the local level, such as landscape deterioration due to landfilling and water and air pollution. The World Bank looks forward to supporting the Croatian authorities and working with key stakeholders towards a cleaner and more sustainable Croatia,” said Elisabetta Capannelli, World Bank Country Manager for Croatia.

Since joining the World Bank Group in 1993, Croatia has benefited from the World Bank’s financial and technical assistance, policy advice, and analytical services. To date, the World Bank has supported more than 50 operations worth around US$4 billion. The Bank’s current engagement focuses on mitigating the economic and social impact of COVID-19, post-earthquake reconstruction, transport, justice, innovation, business environment, land administration, agriculture, and economic development of the Slavonia region.

This technical assistance program will be financed using the Bank’s Reimbursable Advisory Services (RAS) instrument, which offers customized services to middle and high-income countries.

Under RAS programs, the World Bank works with countries at their request, providing advisory services, analytical services, and implementation support. The Bank is then reimbursed for the costs of delivering these advisory services. The work in Croatia is being funded by the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). The RAS is flexible and easily adapted to meet country needs, and can take many forms, including the following: Policy advice; Analytical and diagnostic work; Donor aid coordination; Impact evaluation; Program implementation support; Delivery of training; Knowledge sharing and peer learning.