The Source Separation for Recycling Policy Seminar in Sofia was organized within a project of the EBRD during Save the Planet Sofia Event: Conference and Exhibition on Waste Management, Recycling, Environment for South-East Europe.
The project, implemented by EXPRA as a technical consultant, aims to support National and local authorities from: Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine in their endeavour to explore how to best promote source separation and increase recycling rates by introducing and financing separate collection activities. The seminar also tackled the issue of the non-technical enabling environment for increasing source-separation of recyclables. This means looking at experiences and solutions for the institutional and legal setup and contractual arrangements for financing source-separation activities and how they impact the ability to attract more private sector involvement.

Monika Romenska, EXPRA Regulatory and PA Manager, moderated the seminar with the active involvement and participation of Dr. Roland Ramusch, Sector specialist – Solid Waste, EBRD, and presented a General introduction on source separation, overview on legal requirements at the EU level and real-life situation in the various countries. Dr. Ramusch presented the EBRD and its solid waste management projects as well as the current challenges in the EBRD countries.

After the short presentation of the participants and the situation in their countries/local authorities regarding waste management in general as well as waste source separation, the situations in three countries: Estonia, Bulgaria and Macedonia were presented, respectively by: Üllar Huik, Circular Economy Adviser at Estonian Food Industry Association, Todor Bourgoudjiev, CEO of ECOPACK Bulgaria and Filip Ivanovski, MD of PAKOMAK.

On the second day of the seminar, ECOPACK Bulgaria very kindly hosted a visit to the new lightweight packaging Sorting plant and Educational Center of the Organization near Sofia. The participants appreciated highly the really impressive achievements of ECOPACK and expressed their intentions to implement some of the examples in their country/local authorities.

The Seminar continued with a very interesting presentation of Üllar Huik introducing Sustainable Waste management and the conribution of solid waste management to the implementation of the UN sustianable goals. The best practices of EXPRA members in innovation and development in packaging waste mananegment were presented by Monika Romenska. The participants in teh Seminar were very active during the to days of the seminar and evaluated the event as very good/excellent.

The final deliverable of the project will be a policy paper including detailed information on the countries participation as well as practical examples and best practices.