The Low Plastic Zone (LPZ) Initiative has been officially launched in municipalities across Montenegro, Albania, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. This joint effort by the UN Regional Activity Center MedWaves and The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH aims to address the issue of plastic pollution by creating a community of environmentally conscious hotel, restaurant, cafe, and bar owners committed to phasing out single-use plastic products from their operations. 

Plastic bottles, caps, food containers, bags, packets, and wrappers are among the top 10 litter items commonly found along the coasts of these countries. Recognizing the detrimental effects of such pollution on the environment and human health, the LPZ Initiative aims to reduce plastic waste by encouraging participating businesses to adopt alternative solutions. By eliminating unnecessary single-use plastic products, promoting the use of reusable items, and advocating for sustainable alternatives, the initiative aims to combat plastic pollution and promote the circular use of plastics. 

The LPZ Initiative builds on the success of previous Low Plastic Zone programs implemented in other countries, which have led to significant reductions in plastic waste while providing financial benefits to participating businesses and municipalities.  

CENER21, together with local organizations such as Milieukontakt Albania and GreenHome, will work closely with MedWaves and GIZ to implement the LPZ initiative in three municipalities: Himara (Albania), Kotor (Montenegro), and Mostar (Bosnia-Herzegovina). The program will later expand to a national level and include Kosovo. 

To support the participating businesses, the LPZ Initiative will provide assessments of their current plastic usage, offer solutions to reduce or eliminate single-use plastics, and assist in implementing the most suitable alternatives. By applying tools such as the Honest Alternatives to Plastic Index (H.A.P.I.) and the Honest HoReCa Guide to Zero Waste, the initiative ensures that businesses make informed decisions and choose genuinely sustainable options. 

Participation in the Low Plastic Zone Initiative is free, and businesses will receive recognition through “working to become LPZ” stickers and leaflets to inform suppliers and customers of their commitment. By joining this initiative, businesses can contribute to the reduction of plastic pollution and appeal to a growing number of environmentally conscious customers. 

For those interested in participating in the Low Plastic Zone Initiative, please contact:  

The LPZ Initiative aligns with the European Commission Directive (2019/904) on single-use plastics and is part of the Integrated Waste Management and Marine Litter Prevention Programme in the Western Balkans (MLP), funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). MedWaves, in collaboration with GIZ, is actively working to prevent marine litter and promote sustainable practices in the Adriatic region.