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The municipalities of Bled and Gorje certified as the first European zero waste municipalities

The municipalities of Bled and Gorje have been certified as the first European zero waste municipalities, according to the Mission Zero Academy. The Academy assessed that the municipalities successfully implement measures aimed at achieving zero net waste and operate in accordance with the conditions required by the certificate.

Bled is a destination with a sustainable development vision

Bled is a destination with a sustainable development vision | Author Profotosession/Shutterstock.com

The audit of municipalities proved their progress in implementing activities regarding producing zero net waste and the circular economy. Together with Ecologists Without Borders, the heavily touristed municipalities of Bled and Gorje have implemented more than 40 measures to improve resource management and raise awareness, increased the level of waste separation to 71 and 75 percent, respectively, and reduced the amount of mixed waste per tourist by 16 percent (although the number of tourists almost doubled in this period).

The municipalities have received a certificate with two stars (out of five), which means that they are already managing resources much better than required by law. Both have implemented a wide range of measures to prevent waste and improve reuse and separation, while actively encouraging diverse local actors to adopt their own zero waste measures. In the future, they will continue to upgrade and monitor the measures. They will be subjected to new audit processes every three years to confirm their certification status, with the possibility to raise their certification level.

The certificates are a great impetus for Gorje and Bled, their citizens, and Europe as a whole, as the two municipalities prove that the European circular transition is not only possible but necessary and can start at the local level.

The European certificate developed by the Mission Zero Academy under the auspices of Zero Waste Europe is committed to accelerating the transition of European towns and cities to zero waste and implementing the circular economy at the local level.