VILNIUS - Lithuania needs to triple its waster recycling and its use in the production of new products in order to catch up with the EU average, the country's Economy and Innovation Minister Ausrine Armonaite says.
"Only 4 percent of our economy is circular. What does that mean? This means that the waste that companies produce in their production process, the rubbish, it is still not sufficiently returned back into the economy. We are aiming for a circular economy of at least 12 percent of our economy to meet the European level," the minister told reporters at the Plasta production facility in Vilnius on Friday.
The Economy and Innovation Ministry has allocated 8 million euros to small and medium-sized enterprises for the development of innovative technologies linked to the use of recycled waste. The maximum support per company is 500,000 euros.
According to the ministry's data, around 6.9 million tons of waste was discarded by residents and businesses in Lithuania in 2021. The metals, chemical, wood and paper industries generate the most waste, while as much as 1.7 million tons of waste is generated by Lifosa, the Kedainiai-based phosphate fertilizer production facility.
Lithuania is among the four bottom countries in the EU in terms of the amount of waste generated in manufacturing.