New Montenegrin Law on Waste management approved by government

Oct 13, 2023

Copyright: Umweltbundesamt

The Montenegrin government has approved a new Waste Management Law, following an assessment for compliance with EU directives by Austrian waste management experts. The compliance check was made possible by the EU funded project EU4Green, which supports the implementation of the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans. The approvement of the Montenegrin law marks a significant milestone in Montenegro’s commitment to environmental protection and sustainability and in the project.

Building on the input and recommendations provided by the Austrian experts within the performed Compliance check, Montenegrin Ministry of Ecology, Spatial Planning, and Urbanism has taken the next steps in the drafting and has proposed it to the government for approval. At the session of 3rd October, the government has approved the Draft Law on Waste Management.

On this occasion, Minister Ana Novaković Đurović stated: “This is the most important law in the field of environmental protection. The implementation of this law can permanently change the environmental landscape of Montenegro in a positive way. An important novelty envisaged by the law is the ban on the use of lightweight plastic bags with a wall thickness of 15 to 50 microns at the point of sale of goods or products.”

She added that “A state-level inspection will be established, whose primary task will be to oversee the implementation of local municipal waste management plans. The reasons for this legislative solution are primarily the inefficiency of municipal inspection and municipal police supervision.”

As the third key element of the proposed amendments, the Minister of Ecology mentioned the Extended Producer Responsibility Program. Extended producer responsibility means that importers and manufacturers in Montenegro have both organizational and financial responsibility to manage the waste generated by their products when they become waste.

Closer to EU environmental standards

EU candidate countries must adopt the EU rules and regulations as national law, directives need to be transposed into the national legislation. Preliminary compliance checks with the corresponding EU legislation help countries avoid problems after accession that could occur due to incorrectly transposed legislation.

The compliance check in Montenegro showed that many of the provisions of the EU waste acquis were fully transposed into the Montenegrin national legislation. For provisions, which were not fully transposed yet, the Austrian experts provided recommendations for full alignment with the EU waste legislation.


The Green Agenda is a comprehensive plan that seeks to achieve environmental sustainability and socio-economic transformation. It involves transitioning to a low-carbon economy, promoting renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and biodiversity conservation. Social equity, inclusivity, and sustainable consumption patterns are also emphasized to build a resilient and equitable future for all.

The EU4Green project supports the Western Balkans in their transition towards modern, resource-efficient, and competitive economies. Financed by the European Union and the Austrian government, EU4Green supports Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia in greening their economies in consultation with all relevant partners and in enhancing monitoring and reporting. The project is implemented by the Environment Agency Austria in collaboration with the governments, institutions, and EU Delegations in the Western Balkans, striving for a sustainable and prosperous future for the region.