Decisions for reforms and investments for the transition to a circular and innovative economy, made now, will determine Bulgaria’s development for the decades to come. It is therefore important that all expertise and resources are used to make the necessary changes.

A major step in this direction was taken in June, when the Government adopted the new National Waste Management Plan 2021-2028.

The Plan plays a key role in achieving a resource-efficient and sustainable waste management, as the analysis of the current situation shows that in Bulgaria there is significant potential to improve waste prevention and its management, better use of resources, development of new markets, and new jobs, as at the same time reduce the harmful effects of waste on the environment. The document formulates three strategic goals, with relevant programs, as follows:

Strategic Goal 1: Reduction of the harmful impact of waste through preventing their formation and encouraging their reuse:

 - National Waste Prevention Program with

 - Sub-program for the prevention of food waste;

Strategic Goal 2: Increasing the amount of recycled and recovered waste:

 - Program for achieving the objectives for preparation for re-use and for recycling of household waste;

 - Program for achieving the goals for recycling and utilization of construction and demolition waste;

 - Program for achieving the goals for recycling and utilization of “widespread waste” with;

 - Sub-program for management of packaging and packaging waste;

Strategic Goal 3: Reducing the quantities and risk of landfilled municipal waste:

 - Program for reducing the quantities and the risk of landfilled municipal waste;

With the thus adopted National Waste Management Plan, Bulgaria sets ambitious aims for a smooth transition to a circular economy and joint efforts of public authorities, businesses, and citizens.

And when we talk about the „closing resource loops”, we cannot miss the role that the CircPro project played in the development of the NWMP.

The Bulgarian Recycling Association started the implementation of the project with several main ideas - improving the capacity of institutions dealing with waste management, assistance in making informed management decisions and last but not least - improved quality of information and wider circle of stakeholders. Based on the CircPro activities, the information received from the other project partners, the interregional meetings, as well as the meetings with the stakeholders in Bulgaria, the Association prepared a proposal on the inclusion of the circular public procurements in the new National Waste Management Plan 2021-2028. The reuse of materials, the following of the principles of the waste hierarchy, as well as the development of innovative business solutions in the field of the environment are those specific tools of circular procurement that fulfill the goals of the circular economy.

This addition comes at a very important time for the country when the adoption of the first Strategy for a circular economy is expected. Defining circular procurement as a policy tool for contracting authorities will provide a strong incentive for the use of sustainable criteria in tender documents, awareness of the life cycle costing model, and will create a precondition for the inclusion of circular procurement in a number of other strategic documents.