Waste management or recycling is at the forefront of most governmental programs, including Romania’s although there is much progress to be done in this sense. Local authorities are still making awareness efforts as to the importance of environmental protection.
But it has not always been like that. Not because Romania was not recycling before the 1990s, but because there was not much to recycle before the anticommunist revolution in 1989. I don’t recall using plastic bags at all because there was no plastic or very little; as for packaging, people used and reused papers… newspapers.
So much so that when my mother finished her delicious pot of sarmale these days, she looked for some of her cooking utensils right next to the oven and ended up finding one of the locals papers (i.e. Crisana Libera, issue number 10 February 1990) that she used 24 years ago to pack things in the kitchen.
For me, it’s a little discovery of how free press was made back in 1990, some weeks after the upstage of the communist regime.