The Croatian 2nd Regional Stakeholders Workshop was organized by PP3 – Istrian Regional Energy Agency - IRENA, on 16 November 2020, and, due to the COVID-19 crisis, it was an online event.
Andrea Poldrugovac from IRENA opened the workshop with the presentation of the main features of the CAPonLITTER project, the activities and the main goals of the project. In his presentation, he emphasized that the main goals are to improve policies that could regulate and promote better waste management at beach facilities and services related to recreational events taking place in coastal areas, to improve policies for managing specific packaging items that are among the most common types of marine waste, and engagement of key stakeholders by raising awareness and promoting responsible behaviour.
After the introductory part, the participants were informed that the focus of the workshop will be on the assessment of their readiness for future implementation of the action plan and to determine actual needs on a regional and local level to enable proper measure planning. Mr Dalibor Jovanović explained that two early proposals for actions were already identified and they are based on study visits organised during the kick-off meeting in Portugal and presentation of German stakeholder held during 3rd interregional learning event (ILE). During the afore mentioned study visit, representative of locale beach restaurant presented their experience in dealing with beach litter for which, as the only restaurant on site, they were largely accountable. To tackle this issue, they’ve decided to replace some more problematic items with biodegradable alternatives, e.g., plastic straws were replaced by ones made from pasta. Mr Jovanović stated that several communities in Istrian region already expressed interest for implementing similar solutions and that currently, IRENA is trying to involve private sector in development of this action through exploring the number of facilities that would be willing to replicate it, but also through expansion of the initial idea.
The second concept presented was the one presented during the 3rd ILE by the representative of the Environmental and Climate Protection Unit of the municipality of Tübingen which presented “The introduction of a local packaging tax to reduce littering”. The concept is focused on incentives given to take away bars and restaurants that use biodegradable food packaging or even allow for customers to bring their own one. This imitative can be interesting to municipalities on the coast of the Istrian region that have a large number of similar establishments operating during Summer.
After the presentations, all the participants were asked to share their opinion about the proposals, and the general comment was that the initiatives are very interesting and the representatives of the municipalities have confirmed that they will evaluate the proposals with possible implementation in their area.
Even in an online format, the workshop was very successful and it strengthened the cooperation between IRENA and Croatian stakeholders to achieve the goals of the CAPonLITTER project.