The central coastal clean-up action across Montenegro – as part of the European Coastal Clean-Up Day – was held near Lake Krupac, in Niksic. Along with the organisers, the shores of the artificial lake were cleaned up by volunteers and representatives of the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro. Marking the Europe Clean-Up Day has become a tradition in Montenegro, with several hundreds of people participating in 12 different locations this year.

The Head of European Integration, Political Affairs, Media and Information section at the EU Delegation to Montenegro, Plamena Halacheva, stressed that Montenegro, as an ecological State – must be more actively involved and contribute to the fight against waste.

“It is not just the responsibility of the State because each of us must contribute. We; therefore, urge you to act by using less plastic and disposing of waste in the right place, as well as to protect the nature of Montenegro. With this action, the EU Delegation in Montenegro will launch the campaign ‘Set an example. Join in!’, and next month we will organise a big number of events and lectures on the topic of the protection of nature,” said Halacheva.

Alexandra Aubertin, the General Manager of the NGO Zero Waste Montenegro, believes that Municipalities have a very important role to play in making it easier for consumers to reuse their waste, to dispose of it, and use it as fertiliser. Aubertin, on the other hand, is well aware of the role of plastic manufacturers, so she believes that reducing the use of plastic is also possible by redesigning the packaging. She also drew attention to the need to reduce the use of plastic by each individual.

“It is necessary to reduce the consumption of plastic, and especially that of single-use plastic. As consumers, we need to find a way to reduce the waste we use. We can start buying things that have smaller packages, that last longer, and, eventually, dispose of that waste in a responsible way,”said Aubertin.

According to Aleksandar Perovic, from the Ozone environmental movement which coordinated the clean-up action at the Lake Krupac, the area around this lake, as well as the entire city of Niksic, is burdened with illegal and irregular waste disposal. He believes that waste disposal in Montenegro could be improved through the system, with a special focus on legal regulations of this issue and its implementation in practice.

“These actions actually serve to remind us of the need to regulate the problem. The very fact that volunteers at this site will select the waste, and promote everything which represents smart and responsible waste management, is a pretty clear signal that citizens understand what they should do if the process it clearly explained to them,” said Perovic.

On the occasion of the European Costal Clean-Up Day, and in partnership with the NGO Our Action, the NGO Zero Waste Montenegro organised activities to clean up the shores of lakes and seas in 12 locations across the country. The action was organised and sponsored by the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro and the EU Info Centre.