Establishing a more efficient regulatory framework for waste management is of utmost importance for environmental protection, as well as for the process of Serbia's accession to the European Union.
The conference discussed the extended producers' liability in the field of packaging and packaging waste, as well as in the area of special waste streams.
"The business community is an important partner of the Ministry of Environmental Protection in achieving the set goals for improving the environment in Serbia and achieving European standards in that area," said Minister of Environment Goran Trivan. "Serbia's interests are a better, healthier and cleaner environment. We will make an effort to solve problems and obstacles more quickly on the road to a cleaner Serbia. On this path, environmental issues and economies are complementary,"added Trivan. "The Ministry of Environmental Protection will create a legislative and administrative framework for solving problems in the field of environmental protection, but at the same time open up opportunities for the development of the green economy. The Ministry will pay special attention to cooperation with the economy, discuss the challenges that the business sector faces in the implementation of regulations and thus create a space for new investments in the field of environment."
AmCham's president of the Environment Committee Dragan Lupšić stressed that "It is necessary, through the synergy of the efforts of the state, economy and local self-governments, to contribute to the development of regulations and their application in order to achieve desired and sustainable ecological goals." Lupšić added that "fully establishing the principle of the extended producers' liability does not terminate responsibility only at the moment of release of the product on the market, but is extended even after its use, until the moment when waste is created. This principle is most effective and applies in all EU countries." He said that the state, business and citizens would benefit from such a system.
"The United States strongly supports the Serbian government and its efforts to join the European Union and comprehensive reforms through which Serbia will meet European standards in environmental protection", said U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Kyle Scott, adding that "environmental protection and waste management are the basis of a modern economy.Serbia should invest another 15 billion euros in environmental protection over the next few years, and US companies are already introducing new practices in this area. The private sector is productive but also part of the problem, it is also a key element for solving this problem. Through cooperation with industry, we are doing our utmost to serve the state and achieve optimal solutions“, said Ambassador Scott.
As a conclusions of this conference, it was underlined that the next steps are the improvement of the existing systems of extended liability, investment in the collection network and recycling, as well as capacity building of the municipal sector and local self-governments. Waste management is one of the main issues that the AmCham Environmental Committee deals with. This Committee is actively working to foster a constructive partnership relationship between the business community, the Government and other stakeholders and improving the regulatory framework that will encourage the sustainable development of companies.
The conference was supported by Ball Packaging Europe, Coca-Cola HBC Serbia and Gorenje.