Excessive consumption of plastics in recent years has become a serious global environmental problem. We are witnessing accelerated climate change, increasing CO2 emissions and the extinction of various marine and terrestrial animals. One of the factors influencing the appearance of these issues is the daily generation of plastic waste, which is contributed by the irresponsible behaviour of the human population. The main solution to this problem is the comprehensive education of people about the negative consequences of disposable plastics and the circular management of plastic waste. It is also important to acquaint people with the introduction of alternatives to plastic materials, which are environmentally friendly and can reduce pollution.

In order to significantly develop people’s awareness of plastic waste issues, it is necessary to start with youth education. Young people are more willing to adapt to changes in everyday life and they are the main drivers of environmental protection actions in local communities. Therefore, through the project “Zero Plastic Youth Initiative” CENER 21 will work on introducing young people in the Sarajevo Canton with sustainable, innovative practices of using plastic and eliminating plastic waste. The main objective of the project is to promote the importance of reducing plastic waste, and the reuse of disposable plastic packaging in order to protect the environment and reduce the impact of plastic on climate change in the Sarajevo Canton.

Three pilot schools from the Sarajevo Canton were selected for the participation in the project implementation:

  1. High school “Prva gimnazija” Sarajevo
  2. High school “Peta gimnazija” Sarajevo
  3. High school center “Nedžad Ibrišimović” Ilijaš.

The mentioned pilot schools will be involved in the implementation of the following main project activities:

  1. Preparation of a Manual for high schools on the problem of plastic and the possibilities of its reuse. The aim is to raise awareness of youth about the plastic waste impacts on natural ecosystems and key opportunities for circular use of plastic waste.
  2. Organization of webinars on “How to live without waste”. The webinar will increase the creative thinking of high school students regarding environmental protection and the application of zero waste
  3. Organization of a workshop for high school students in cooperation with the Student Association of the Faculty of Agriculture and Food. Workshop will strengthen the knowledge of youth about plastic recycling activities and increase their interest in the development of green entrepreneurship.
  4. Analysis of waste generated in a school building or yard. Students will determine how much paper; food packaging and other materials are thrown into the school waste stream.
  5. Field tour of the identified illegal landfill with the action “Let’s clean the local community”. Young people and citizens will contribute to the reduction of waste pollution in local community.

The project has started on December 24, 2021 and will last until May 31, 2022. The Ministry of Education of Sarajevo Canton supports the implementation of the project and the introduction of innovations in curriculum activities.