An international conference “Marine Waste – Challenges and Solutions” was held in Split, warning of the growing pollution of the sea with all types of waste, especially plastics. The conference brought together numerous domestic and foreign experts, representatives of state institutions, activists and other stakeholders who discussed the problem of waste in the Adriatic Sea and shared their experiences in solving this issue.The conference ended the national campaign against marine litter, conducted in June and July by the office of MEP Škrlec, encouraged by the fact that Croatia has not yet developed an model for monitoring and disposing of marine litter. Since the sea is an extremely important resource of the Croatian economy, the aim of the campaign was to raise awareness of citizens and tourists about this problem and point out the need to establish an efficient and sustainable model of waste management in the Adriatic Sea.Ponikve eco island of Krk presented a concrete solution through the project “Blue Bag”At the conference in Split, many participants spoke about their experiences and programs that they want to take preventive action and thus help solve the problem of marine litter and the pollution it causes. In this context, Krk’s Ponikve presented their project “Blue Bag”, which was discussed by Dejan Kosić, technical director of the company.”Blue Bag” is one of the numerous environmental projects that Ponikve has been implementing on Krk for several years. It is an ecological-tourist program designed for boaters, tourists and all nature lovers who want to encourage voluntary cleaning of the coast from alluvium. The first blue bags on the Croatian coast appeared on the island of Krk, which once again showed that the people of Krk are leaders in many innovative actions that promote environmental awareness, environmental protection and sustainable development. “The goal of the “Blue Bag” campaign is for each boater to collect at least one bag of debris during the season. In this way, tourists, as well as the local population, provide themselves and others with clean beaches where they spend their summer days, and they also show their ecological awareness and care for the environment. Many “green” projects and energy efficient solutions arouse great interest of the people of Krk, but also of our guests. “DISCOVER ECO LIFESTYLE ON THE ISLAD OF KRK” – is an invitation that makes it clear to tourists what island they come to spend their vacation, and all of the above is part of the overall strategy to achieve that the island of Krk becomes truly “unique in the Mediterranean””- Kosic emphasized.Goal of a project “Blue bag” is that each boater collects one bag of debris during one season. If this goal were achieved, strong actions and huge funds to keep the coast clean would no longer be needed. This year’s environmental action “Blue Bag” is being held for the fourth year in a row and is currently underway, so Ponikava invites everyone to join this praiseworthy action. Get involved in the “Blue Bag” project because the Blue Bag is not an obligation but a challenge, as they point out from Ponikve.As the situation is more than alarming, the devastating fact that as many as 8 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans and seas every year speaks volumes! Marine litter is one of the fastest growing threats with major environmental and economic consequences. Particularly alarming is the fact that 94 percent of this waste ends up on the seabed and is not visible and cannot be rehabilitated. Every year, about 8 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans and seas, which poses the greatest danger to marine life, the environment and human health, and after decay it becomes part of the food chain of various marine organisms. The Mediterranean, in which as much as 80 percent of the total waste is microplastics that reach the food chain, has not been spared from this devastating fact.Since as much as 80 percent of waste comes to the sea from beaches and the coast (and the remaining 20 percent from maritime ships and fishing boats), it is extremely important to implement preventive programs and actions, such as the “Blue Bag” on Krk, aimed at preventing sea pollution. especially plastic as the most hazardous waste.By 2030, Krk will become an energy independent islandKrk is a unique example of comprehensive care for nature and a Croatian leader in waste separation and recycling, and by 2030 it plans to become the first energy-independent island in this part of the world.Today, Krk is also the Croatian leader when it comes to renewable energy, as well as in the separation and disposal of waste. The entire island separates as much as 50 percent of its waste, and in December last year the percentage of separated waste rose to as much as 60 percent, which means that out of a ton of waste, six kilograms of waste is recycled and reused. The fact that only about 15 percent of municipal waste is separated and recycled on average in Croatia, while Zagreb separates only one percent, is one of the worst capitals in Europe. “Krk has already entered 2020 in terms of the amount of separated waste, because 50 percent of separated waste is the goal of the European Union for that year. Our goal is to separate 2020 percent of waste by 80, and to achieve full energy independence of the island by 2030, which will make Krk the first energy independent island in this part of the world.”, Points out Vjeran Piršić, from the ecological association Eko Kvarner, for the portal croenergo.eu.The island of Krk is a great example and case study of how you can and must take care of tomorrow, and not just watch in the short term. Also, it is constantly wrongly pointed out that this is impossible because society does not have a habit, but a habit needs to be created, and this can only be done through synergy, education and concrete actions. They are aware of the problems on Krk and have laid their hands on the future of the island, and by 2030, if not sooner, it will become the first energy-independent island in the Mediterranean.The island of Krk rightly bears the title of Green Island as an energy independent island, and that it is not just on paper, is evidenced by all the achievements so far. Yes, it is possible, it is up to the people.Adriatic – Large blue containerIf you think this is not our problem, you are very much mistaken. The most beautiful sea in the world, as we often boast, also has its “islands” of garbage. In collaboration with the Association for Nature, Environment and Sustainable Development Sun and the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, a three-minute video was recorded showing how many problems people have on the islands and beaches of the Adriatic every winter and spring. Our beautiful sea, we have only one, and one is the planet Earth. “Marine litter is a huge problem, both economically and health, ecologically, aesthetically and touristically. Unfortunately, plastic never disappears, it just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, it enters all the pores of the environment. Eventually if we continue like this, it will happen to us that we will eat plastic from the sea that we throw away”- said Mosor Prvan, biologist of the Association for Nature, Environment and Sustainable Development Sunce.Scientists estimate that 1455 tons of plastic are already floating in the Mediterranean, with an average density of one piece per 4 square meters, making the Mediterranean one of the most endangered marine areas. “Beach cleaning is necessary, but not a solution in itself. Shredded pieces of plastic are almost impossible to remove. It is a pity that due to a few seconds of one-time use of plastic, we are permanently polluting the sea that we love so much and the animals that live in it. The islands are the most beautiful part of our coast, and tons of plastic float on them every year. It is time to understand that the problem needs to be addressed by the cause, that is, that we urgently need to change habits and get rid of disposable plastic. For example, nylon bags, straws, bottles and plastic cutlery are very easy to replace with environmentally friendly alternatives. ” said Mihaela Bogeljić, from Greenpeace Croatia. Greenpeace invites citizens to sign petition against single-use plastics and to read the report “The Mediterranean is covered in plastic”Which shows that on a global scale 60-80% of marine waste is plastic.Unfortunately, we already eat plastic without even realizing it. It is fascinating how the problems are obvious and exact, and the awareness and discussions are reduced to conspiracy theories or we will easily. We are witnessing climate change on our own skin, fortunately to a small extent for now. But the question is where the border is because when it is crossed, unfortunately there is no going back. Planet Earth, as many times before in its long history, has been reset, it has survived, and so it will be after humans. But is it really today in the 21st century, after all the possible evidence, that this is a matter of debate at all. The question is not whether there will be global warming and climate change, but how to reduce the damage we have already done so far.Croatia is known for its clear sea and beautiful nature, whether it will stay that way in the future depends only on us – the people.Solutions exist, but again it all depends on us.