18 September 2023 – As part of the NovIKroG project, supported by the Norway Grants, waste batteries and plastic packaging were collected in schools, kindergartens, and other public institutions in the Dolenjska region between May 1st and June 16th, 2023. Participating schools and kindergartens collected 282.2 kg of packaging waste. Useful waste packaging was given a new purpose, resulting in the creation of 70 didactic toys and 500 bookmarks for kindergartens.
Participating schools and kindergartens received certificate of participation and sample products made from the collected waste packaging during an event held on September 14, 2023, at the premises of the Podbreznik Business Incubator. The event was opened by the Director of the Novo mesto Development Centre, Franci Bratkovič, who pointed out that the Development Centre is setting up a Circular Innovation Centre as part of the NovIKroG project. The main purpose of this centre is to introduce the principles of circular public procurement to public institutions and businesses actively participating in the local community, with the goal of establishing a circular economy concept and efficient management of closed material loops. He concluded by stressing the need to act sustainably, where the first step is to reduce energy and raw material consumption.
Mojca Žganec Metelko, a representative from Knofa, presented the results of the collection campaign during the event, which aimed to close material loops in the local environment. This means that materials that would otherwise end up as waste are either reused or transformed into objects that participating organizations can put to good use. In total, 282.2 kg of packaging waste was collected, including 84.20 kg of unsuitable packaging or other types of waste, indicating the need for greater awareness of different types of plastic waste. The remaining 198 kg of plastic waste were reprocessed in the FabLab KNOF using various technological processes, given new purpose, and turned into 70 didactic toys and 500 bookmarks. These products will be given to the kindergartens and schools that took part in the collection campaign. The products are made from 100% recycled plastic, representing a significant step towards sustainable thinking and material reuse. During the event, representatives from schools and kindergartens already received sample products and awards for their participation in the collection campaign.
The main purpose of the collection campaign was to raise awareness about plastic recycling possibilities and at the same time to educate people about the importance of local material loops. The NoviKroG project partners aimed to encourage children to think about the fate of waste after disposal and find solutions for the continuous circulation of materials in our environment. With this campaign, they wanted to test the challenges and opportunities of implementing functioning material loops in the local environment, contributing to the promotion of sustainable waste management practices in our community.
The NovIKroG project involves the City Municipality of Novo mesto as the project promoter, and project partners include the Faculty of Industrial Engineering Novo mesto, the Development Centre Novo mesto, KNOF social enterprise, Public utility company Novo mesto, and Nord University from Norway. You can follow the project on the website novikrog.si.
Source: NovIKroG project