Reducing plastic waste and littering in Montenegro

© Zero Waste Montenegro

Reducing plastic waste and littering in Montenegro

The goal of the project is to drastically reduce the creation of non-recyclable plastic waste in Montenegro and to raise awareness about the dangers of the overconsumption of single-use plastic items.

Single-use plastic bags are distributed all over Montenegro without any second thoughts on the direct or indirect consequences they have on the environment and our food chain. It is estimated that 200 to 400 million single-use plastic bags are being distributed every year in Montenegro.

Currently there is a very limited supply of reusable bags available in Montenegro, and they are incredibly expensive for Montenegro living standards. The project aims at making long-lasting reusable bags accessible and affordable to every citizen in Montenegro. Zero Waste Montenegro (ZWMNE) expects to create a noticeable single-use plastic waste reduction on the national scale, while raising awareness regarding single-use plastic waste creation and disposal in Montenegro.

The bags will be sewn locally by groups of disadvantaged women, also helping to alleviate poverty in the poorest areas of the country.  The first project goal is to have 2,000 long-lasting reusable carrier bags in service in Montenegro within 1 year (from date of funding) and to be able to renew the stock once the sale is completed.

The bags will be sold through a network of key retailers across the country. They will be sold at cost price (3 €) which will ensure self-funding for the following production batches (this initiative is therefore a recurring action). This innovative approach represents a fully sustainable solution, which will have an increased impact in the long-term. Selling these bags at a low price rather than giving them away gives them value, which encourages people to retain and reuse use them.

The initiative is a measure associated with the single-use plastic bags ban requested by ZWMNE through a petition to the Montenegrin Government.