26 Jun 2024

Written by

Zelena Akcija / Zero Waste Croatia

A community comes together: highlights from Zagreb’s second Reuse Festival

Friends of the Earth Croatia

Imagine a space where everyone sees reuse as essential to preserve our environment and improve our society. This was the scene at the second Reuse Festival organised by Zelena Akcija/Zero Waste Croatia in Zagreb on 5-7 June 2024. Over three days, our community came together to celebrate, learn, and engage in the practices of reuse and repair, reaffirming our role as a vital hub for sustainability in the city.

Bringing reuse to life

More than 200 people joined the Reuse Festival, eager to participate in many hands-on activities that bring reuse closer to our everyday lives. People brought their small household appliances and bicycles to be expertly repaired for free. They exchanged clothes with other participants during the event’s SWAP party. And they also learned new skills and took steps towards a zero waste mindset in workshops on making reusable food wraps and patching bicycle tyres.

There was also time for an exhibition of creatively used items, and to get acquainted with small local producers of handmade goods – allowing visitors to appreciate and support the work of small, sustainable businesses.

Photo highlights from the second Reuse Festival in Zagreb (click to enlarge).
Check out Zelena Akcija’s Flickr for the full photo album.

A growing movement

Held in celebration of World Environment Day and as part of the Communities go circular project, the Festival sought to raise public awareness about the critical role of reuse in protecting our environment and natural resources.

“Seeing so much interest for the second year in a row makes us very happy. It shows that reuse is a practice that people love and cherish and want more of such activities that prevent waste and save money.”, said Zelena Akcija’s Marko Košak, the coordinator of the Reuse Festival. “The large turnout motivates us to start preparing next year’s festival right away, so that it can be even more diverse and successful.”

The Festival was so popular that, due to a matter of space, not everyone who signed up could join. However, there will be more opportunities to get involved in other similar reuse activities organised by Zelena Akcija throughout the year.

“Thanks to our educational and practical activities for exchanging, repairing, and other reuse actions, Zelena Akcija’s space has established itself as a kind of reuse centre, where we systematically nurture the culture of reuse through volunteer engagement.”, added Marko.

Marko Košak, coordinator of the Reuse Festival, says that the event shows that reuse is a “practice that people love and cherish”, and that it prevents waste while saving money.

Reuse as part of systemic change

The Reuse Festival’s success is proof of the community’s enthusiasm for reuse while also serving as a call to action for policy-makers. Croatia currently lacks sufficient infrastructure for reuse systems, unlike other EU countries where reuse practices are integral to the circular economy. We need more repair shops, reuse centres, and exchange hubs supported by state, city, and municipal initiatives, alongside the efforts of associations and civic groups.

Zelena Akcija will keep pushing for these changes, bringing us closer to a more sustainable and circular future. We hope to see even more participants at next year’s Reuse Festival and invite everyone to join our upcoming events as we continue to promote the culture of reuse. Together, we can make a lasting impact.

Zelena Akcija is a member organisation of the Zero Waste Europe network. Learn more about their activities by visiting