How to recycle paper in Croatia

paper container
Paper container in Croatia

Croatia encourages the recycling of paper products and packaging. The benefits of recycling paper include:

  • Keeping unnecessary waste out of landfills
  • Protecting forests and animal habitats
  • Saving energy
  • Saving natural resources
  • Reducing both air and water pollution

Waste paper is a valuable raw material that can be used to produce new paper products. 900 kg of recycled paper saves 17 trees, 1500 liters of oil, 2 sq meters of landfill space, 4.000 kilowatts of energy, and 27.000 liters of water. This equals a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 27 kg less air pollution.

The company that manages the pick up paper for recycling in Croatia is called Čistoća. Proper recycling in Croatia is hindered due to a lack of understanding of what should and shouldn’t be recycled. 30% of waste put in silver garbage pins is paper that could be recycled.

Too often paper is put in the wrong bin or is covered in food or oil, which upends the whole system and makes recycling that much harder. Make sure all paper is free of food or oil before putting it in the recycling bin.

In this post, we’ll cover:

  • Where to put paper
  • Which kinds of paper can be recycled
  • Which kinds of paper cannot be recycled and what do with it

How to recycle paper in Croatia

Where does paper for recycling go?

First, it’s important to know that the Croatian word for paper. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to learn. In Croatian, “papir” means “paper”, so it should be no problem to distinguish from the other bins.

When you roll up on the line of recycling and trash bins, you need to look for the one that says “PAPIR” on it. The “papir” bin will be either entirely blue or have a blue lid or have some kind of blue accent.

Blue = Paper= Papir

Here are a few different variations of the blue papir bins where you can recycle paper.

Paper recycling bin in Croatia
Image by Kronike Velike Gorica

plava kanta recikliranje


Plastic and metal recycling bin in Croatia
Image by

Which kinds of paper can be recycled?

Only certain kinds of paper can be recycled. Here is a list of all the paper products that can be recycled using the blue bins:

  • Novine (newspapers)
  • Časopisi (magazines)
  • Prospekti (brochures)
  • Katalozi (catalogues)
  • Papirnate vrećice (paper bags)
  • Uredski papir (office paper)
  • Omotnice (envelopes)
  • Bilježnice (notebooks)
  • Knjige bez plastificiranoga omota (books without plastic wrap)
  • Karton (cardboard)
  • Kartonska ambalaža (cardboard packaging)
  • Kartonske kutije za jaja (cardboard boxes for eggs)

If you have cardboard packaging that is too large to fit in the bins, take them to a recycling yard, called “reciklažno dvorište”. Here is a list of them by city.

Which kinds of paper cannot be recycled?

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

  • Indigo papir (indigo paper)
  • Ugljeni papir (carbon paper)
  • Fotografije (photos)
  • Foto papir (photo paper)
  • Prljavi i zauljeni papir (dirty and oily paper)
  • Gumirane etikete (gummed labels)
  • Pelene (diapers)

These items should be instead put in the silver general waste bins. If you have a tetrapak, there are special bins just for those. If you don’t have a black tetrapak bin in your neighborhood, put the tetrapaks in the yellow plastika bin as plastic is manually sorted by hand.

Check out our other guides on recycling in Croatia here.

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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