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Circular Economy Platform for Sustainable Development in Serbia

  • Published on February 11, 2022

The goal of the project was to create a Circular Economy Platform (CE Platform) for sustainable development in Serbia through creation of a strategic partnership with the private sector for an accelerated circular economy (CE), enabling finance to support change towards CE and building the stakeholder network and facilitating transformative dialogue to accelerate the CE agenda.

The overarching aim of the project was to contribute to reducing pressure on the environment, enhancing security of supply of raw materials, increasing competitiveness, innovation and growth.  The UNDP’s Country Office (CO) in Serbia achieved a strong and close partnership with the Government of Serbia, private sector, including creative industries as uniquely relevant sector, academia and civil society organizations with a shared commitment to infusing governance, economy and society with the value-adding applications of the circular economy concept. The project supported a transformative dialogue for the transition from linear to circular production and consumption patterns, with detailed focus on the following sectors: i) single-use plastics; ii) textiles; iii) furniture; as well as iv) food waste.

The project supported the shift to Sustainable Consumption and Production, with the results as:

-           A Roadmap for Circular Economy in Serbia developed in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and the Working Group for Circular economy with representatives of relevant stakeholders.

-           A guidance document on single-use plastics with policy options in line with the EU regulation, for the Ministry of Environment and recommendations for all stakeholders along the value chain promoting circular approaches that give priority to sustainable and non-toxic re-usable products and re-use systems instead of single-use plastics.

-           Contributed to closing the loop in this area of food waste reduction – from workshops showcasing innovative solutions for reduction of food waste and options for its use, over policy advice to the Ministry of Agriculture for setting enabling conditions for food surplus donation and food waste reduction, to an online platform for food surplus donation for the people in need in partnership with a private multinational company in food retail and the Food Bank.

-           In the area of textile, a guidance document on improving circularity of both post-industrial and post-consumer textile waste in Serbia.

-           Amendments to the bylaw with recommendations for promoting the Ecolabel scheme among companies and consumers in line with the EU regulations.

- SDG impact acceleration programme for MSMEs to develop innovative solutions within their core businesses that directly contribute to circular economy and SDGs

- Introduction of circular economy tools to manufacturing industry

- Trained research and scientific community to develop circular economy projects for the EU Horizon 2020 programme. 

- Guidance for development of innovative project proposals in the field of circular economy for STEM students in Serbia (Handbook; Practical templates for preparing a project proposal; A powerpoint presentation that follows handbook and templates; Sample illustrative projects) with a special emphasis on involving girls and young women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

- Experimental education packages for innovative thinking and circular mindset for three levels of education (primary school, high school and university) in Serbia

- Circular Design Guide for product development in cooperation with private sector and university

- Young Balkan Designers Open Call for Circular Design, inviting and challenging designers to propose circular design solutions in furniture industry that promote the sustainability and circulation of products and materials.

- Supported building circular culture among all stakeholders along the value chain thorugh various events and innovative enagements in partnership with creative industries, education sector, IT and entrepreneurial community to ensure the sustainable growth in Serbia.


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