11 August 2012Regional countries are beginning to require that consumer packaging be recyclable in an effort to reduce the waste stream and help protect the environment in compliance with EU directives.
The EU requires that more than 50 percent of waste materials -- paper, plastic, glass, metals and non-hazardous construction waste -- be prepared for reuse or recycling before 2020. Close to two-thirds of all waste is consumer products' packaging.
"The laws provide not only increased penalties for polluters, but also establish a system of waste separation, thus creating room for the development of a recycling business where tens of thousands of people can find work," Suzana Djordjevic, executive director of the ecological fund Ecotopia, told SETimes.
Nearly 10,000 people in Serbia have obtained jobs in the environmental sector in the last four years, and an additional 40,000 jobs can be created.
Croatia began implementing an EU environmental policy in 2005, and adopted a waste management law, as did Montenegro. Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina took similar action in 2010.