Luka Koper’s EMAS environmental certificate was today presented to the Koper public, and thereby the Port of Koper became the second European port (further to Valencia) and only the third Slovene enterprise to have an environment management system compliant with the very highest protection criteria. At this event, Ecologists without Borders, the Eco Vitae Association, the Lukatarina design studio and artist The Miha Artnak installed a combined exhibition at Koper’s Passenger Terminal. Entitled Bag on Bag and Photo on Photo, this work draws attention to the excessive consumption of plastic bags.
EMAS is an upgrade to the already established ISO 14001 environmental management system acquired by Luka Koper back in 2000. At today's official ceremony at the Passenger Terminal, the 2009 EMAS certificate was presented by Ms Adrijana Viler-Kovačič, Deputy Director of ARSO, the Slovenian Environment Agency. Furthermore, Luka Koper has successfully undergone assessment for 2010, thus corroborating the company's compliance with legislation in the field of environmental protection and development. Upon receipt of certificate, Dr. Gregor Veselko, President of the Luka Koper Management Board, said that it can be credited to all the company's employees who are at the same time also responsible for compliance and maintenance of the established system. Indeed, EMAS requires ongoing improvements in environmental management and transparent communication with the public, which Luka Koper has accomplished through its www.zivetispristaniscem.si (Living with the Port) web portal, where all those who are interested have access to - amongst other things - the detailed content of the environmental report.
Bag on Bag and Photo on Photo project is a continuation of the Bag on Bag project which addresses the issue of the excessive use and improper handling of plastic bags in Slovenia. According to some data, annual consumption of plastic bags amounts to between 130 and 150 per person. It takes up to a thousand years for a plastic bag to decompose, therefore they are a threat to nature as well as human and animal health, and marine life in particular. “We are happy to welcome the plastic monster at the Port of Koper. It draws attention to the issue of waste and recycling. Luka Koper has been particularly active in this field; our waste management centre separately collects and processes over 85 percent of all waste generated in the port, ” stated Dr. Veselko, and presented every participant with a bag of port compost.
“The monster has adapted to the environment and therefore survived. It may well succeed us at the top of the food chain; it proliferates with inconceivable speed and has no mercy,” says The Miha Artnak by way of explanation of his Tackle of the Tentacle artwork. The plastic bag monster, created by bags provided by passers-by in Ljubljana last November, travelled to Brussels where it proudly extended its long tentacles during Green Week. By mid-July it will be warning passers-by at the Passenger Terminal to think twice before taking a new plastic bag. The November creation was captured by the photographic eye of Žiga Šmidovnik who exhibited his selected works in a photo-story entitled Photo on Photo which – in his words – summarised the bustle and creativity characteristic of all the Bag on Bag project participants.