How to recycle glass in Croatia

Glass container
Glass container in Croatia

Croatia encourages the recycling of glass as well as the return of specific types of glass in return for a refund. The glass collected is exported to other countries that can process and produce new products from recycled glass. The benefits of recycling glass include:

  • Keeping unnecessary waste out of landfills
  • Protecting animals from being harmed by sharp glass
  • Saving energy – It takes less energy to make recycled glass than new glass.
  • Saving natural resources
  • Reducing both and air pollution

The company that manages the pick up of recycling in Croatia is called Čistoća. The biggest roadblock to recycling in Croatia is a lack of education of what can be recycled and into which bins the waste should be placed. All too often waste is put in the wrong bin or is covered in food, which upends the whole system and makes recycling that much harder. Make sure all glass is clean before putting in the recycling bin.

In this guide, we are going to cover how to recycle glass properly including:

How to recycle glass in Croatia

Where does glass for recycling go?

First, it’s important to know that the Croatian word for “glass” is “staklo”. When you roll up on the line of recycling and trash bins, you need to look for the one that says “STAKLO” on it. This glass “staklo” bin will be either entirely green or have a green lid or some kind of green accent.

Green = Glass = Staklo

What kind of glass can be recycled?

Only certain kinds of glass can be recycled. In Croatia, there are three types of recyclable glass:

  • Ambalažno staklo (packaging glass)
  • Staklene boce (glass bottles)
  • Staklene staklenke (glass jars)

Which types of glass offer rebates?

Before you take your glass to the recycling bin, it is important to know that some types of glass bottles can be turned in for a rebate. The rebate is usually 7 cents per bottle. The types of glass bottles that can be turned in for a rebate are:

  • Water bottles
  • Beer bottles
  • Wine bottles

Check the label to see if it a rebate is offered before taking your bottles to the recycling bin. If a rebate is offered, then it will say “Povratna Naknada” along with amount of the refund. You can turn in your bottles at most grocery stores in exchange for a refund.

Glass bottle refund in Croatia
Image by SB Online

If you don’t want to bother taking your bottles in for a refund, but still want SOMEONE to get the refund, set your bottles next to the staklo recycling bin instead. It is guaranteed that someone in your neighborhood will come and collect them to get the refund. It’s a good way to pay it forward.

UPDATE: From 2021, 2-deciliter glass bottles can also be turned in for a rebate in amount of 7 cents per bottle. These 2-deciliter glass bottles must contain the “Povratna naknada” label as all other returnable bottles. Until now, this was possible for glass bottles larger than half a liter (0,5-liter, 1-liter, 1,5-liter, 2-liter bottles, and others larger than half a liter). To return 2-deciliter glass bottles, contact the staff when you come to the shop because they can not be returned via vending machines.

What kind of glass cannot be recycled?

Not all glass can be recycled. The following products should NOT be put into the recycling bins:

  • Ogledala (mirrors)
  • Prozorska stakla (window glass)
  • Automobilska stakla (car window glass)
  • Lusteri (lamps/chandeliers)
  • Žarulje (light bulbs)

These types of glass should be dropped off at a recycling center (called “reciklažna dvorišta”). You can download a complete list here.

Go forth and recycle!

Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.

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