Auditor’s report: Almost no sorting of plastic waste in North Macedonia, recyclers have to import


Illegal waste landfills on every corner, overflowing garbage skips in the towns and cities, record quantities of produced waste on a national level. Despite this condition with the waste in North Macedonia, the plants that recycle the plastic waste must import waste plastic from abroad to provide an efficient production process in the treatment and processing of the plastic waste.

“The institutions, both on local and national levels, didn’t addopt significant planning nor program documents or other materials, there is still no Commission for Managing the Packaging Waste and no regional waste management has been established, so the basic conditions for prevention of the creation of plastic waste and for its processing are not met. The current procedures for the plastic waste are of minimal effect,” concluded the State Audit Office of North Macedonia in its Final report about the conducted audit of the succesfulness of the “Efficient Treatment and Managing Plastic Waste.

The auditors point out that only 1.4% of the total quantities of the collected waste in the country is sorted plastic waste, and individual plastic bottle collectors throughout the cities (the informal sector) and the collective handlers have the biggest share in the plastic waste sorting operations, instead of that being done by the public communal enterprises (PCE).

The auditors warn that the price of new plastic has been lowered worldwide, which in turn lowers the demand for recycled plastic. The purchase of plastic waste in Macedonia is high, which makes the recycling unprofitable, warn the auditors.

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