November 2, 2023 | Thursday

Kosovo Advances in Alignment with EU’s Green Agenda and Legislation

In a significant move toward environmental conservation, the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, with the combined efforts of the EU and the German government, has taken a robust step forward in the realm of sustainable policies in Kosovo.

In early September, Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning, Liburn Aliu, held a joint press conference at the government building in Pristina to introduce the recently approved sub-legal measure on packaging waste. This event also marked the launch of the “Plastic Bag Reduction” campaign, with the participation of Alessandro Bianciardi, Deputy Head of Cooperation at the EU in Kosovo, and Vera Baumann, Head of Cooperation at the German Embassy.

Minister Aliu stressed the significance of these initiatives, stating that the recently approved sub-legal measure represents a substantial move toward aligning with EU regulations and promoting Kosovo’s Green Agenda. This measure outlines the extent, entitlements, obligations, standards, and processes for individuals, including producers, importers, retailers, and other parties engaged in the handling of packaging and packaging waste.

“It lays the legal foundation for eco-friendly packaging waste management and imposes obligations on producers,” Aliu said.

The execution of this directive will commence with initiatives designed to diminish the usage of lightweight plastic carrier bags. This includes the Plastic Bag Reduction Campaign, which aims to inform stakeholders about the legislation’s implementation process. It also seeks to increase awareness among consumers and other parties about the environmental damage caused by plastic bags. It also underscores the significance of adopting reusable and environmentally friendly alternatives like cloth bags, paper bags, or reusable totes.

Alessandro Bianciardi, Deputy Head of Cooperation at the EU in Kosovo, underscored the EU’s commitment to aiding the creation and enforcement of laws that safeguard the environment and bring the concept of a circular economy to life in Kosovo. He expressed the EU’s pride in collaborating with Germany and Kosovo to support the establishment and application of the sub-legal measure pertaining to “Packaging and Packaging Waste” as well as the “Plastic Bag Reduction” Campaign.

“The proper implementation of this new sub-legal act is the right step towards the application of the measures for the reduction of all single-use plastic products, which will have a positive impact on the environment and the health of the people of Kosovo,”  Bianciardi said.

Vera Baumann, Head of Cooperation at the German Embassy in Pristina, expressed Germany’s full support for Kosovo’s efforts in building a greener future. She emphasized that together with their EU partners, they are endorsing initiatives that promote environmental consciousness. Baumann highlighted the shared responsibility of all Kosovo residents to reduce their plastic bag usage and encouraged manufacturing companies to align with EU standards, contributing to a cleaner future for Kosovo.

“As consumers, all of us have the power to decide for products that are not packaged, or at least sustainably packaged. In doing that, we ensure a healthy environment – clean air, clean soils and clean water resources – in Kosovo for ourselves, and even more so for our children,” Baumann said.