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Circular economy: Waste is raw material and money – how do BiH citizens use it?

For three years in a row, at least when it comes to Jajce, COD celebrates the Circular Economy Days and points out its importance to both businessmen, young startups, and children on whom the world depends… but how many of us actually even know what the Circular Economy is?

In today’s world, faced with challenges such as climate change, resource depletion and waste accumulation, the concept of a circular economy is becoming increasingly important. Instead of the traditional linear model of “production, use and disposal”, the circular economy promotes a system that strives to minimize waste and exploit resources in a sustainable way.

One of the key components of the circular economy is the reuse and recycling of materials. Instead of using resources once, they are returned to the value chain through various processes such as recycling, recovery and overhaul. This approach not only reduces the need to extract new raw materials, but also reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.

Although Bosnia and Herzegovina is still far from a circular economy, like many countries, it faces challenges related to waste management and resource sustainability. However, in the last few years, there has been a noticeable increase in initiatives aimed at the circular economy in the country.

One example is the development of the recycling industry. There are numerous organizations and businesses that collect, sort and recycle different types of waste, including plastic, glass and paper. These initiatives not only reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, but also create opportunities for employment and creating additional value from waste.

Another example is the promotion of resource and product sharing. Platforms for sharing cars, tools or work space are becoming increasingly popular in urban areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This reduces the need to purchase new products, lowers costs and encourages shared use of resources.

There are also examples of innovative projects that use waste as raw material for the production of new products. For example, several startups in the country are experimenting with recycling plastics to produce building materials or textiles. This is not only economically profitable, but also reduces pressure on the environment.

Ultimately, the circular economy offers Bosnia and Herzegovina not only environmental benefits but also economic and social advantages. By promoting sustainable use of resources and reducing waste, the country can create a more resilient and prosperous economic model that will benefit current and future generations.

There are many positive examples in the world, but it should be noted that Sweden was among the first countries to introduce a tax on fossil fuels in 1991, and households annually produce less than one percent of waste for recycling. They import more than two million tons of garbage per year, although many point out that the reason is simple because they burn garbage and use that energy for heating, the truth is that they simply think in a different way. Recycling and taking care of the environment is an imperative of life there, so as a society they have almost reached the ideal of a “zero waste” policy.

The LogEx community, founded in December 2021, is a partnership committed to bridging the gap between higher education and the employment marketplace in the Western Balkans. By focusing on building human capital, strengthening the circular economy, and promoting sustainable development, the LogEx community aims to create a brighter future for the region.

Members of the LogEx community: The Balkan Forum (WB), Build Green Group (Albania), CENER 21, COD Jajce (Bosnia and Herzegovina), CIVIL / Green CIVIL (North Macedonia), Universum International College (Kosovo), YIHR (Serbia), ADP-Zid (Montenegro).