What are the prospects for the waste recycling industry in Russia?

On March 10, 2020, a press conference was held on business environmental responsibility and planned amendments to the law on waste from the use of goods and packaging.

We remind that in 2015, in Russia a system of Extended producer responsibility (EPR) was introduced, it was borrowed from European countries, where it has been working effectively for 20 years. Within the EPE framework, major business sectors have begun to invest in the development of waste collection and recycling system in our country. Separate waste collection, waste reception points, clearing of natural dumps — all this has appeared thanks to a new, even if not yet perfect, EPR system.

However, today, the EPR system, which has started to work effectively and show its results (especially in the tire industry), is under threat in our country. The Ministry of natural resources has decided to radically change the rules: replace independent waste recycling with the payment of an eco-fee for all manufactured / imported goods or packaging.

What does it mean for business? ⠀

1. Resetting all of the results of these 3 years. We remind that, in particular, in the tire industry, 155 thousand tons of tires were recycled thanks to the activities of EcoTyresUnion. Without the EPR system, these tires will again lie in yards and turn into spontaneous landfills.

2. The decrease in recycling volumes from recycling companies. Such companies simply cannot cope with building a waste collection system without the investment of manufacturing companies. A drop in volumes is always a production crisis, job cuts and the closure of production facilities that are ready to work!

What does this mean for Russian residents? ⠀

1. Return of spontaneous dumps made from technical devices, batteries, tires and other wastes in cities and nature.

2. Increase in the cost of most product categories. 100% norm is an impossible rate not only for Russia, but also for countries where the system has been working for decades.

What can be done?

Start a dialog! The press conference was attended by representatives of the largest EPR associations and the manufacturer, which also successfully fulfills its responsibility: EcoTyresUnion, SKO Elektronika-Utilizatsia, RusPro, Duracell. All of them have already done a lot to build a recycling system in the country within the framework of independent EPR comliance, and each of them has a number of proposals for improving, rather than canceling, the existing waste recycling system throughout the country. However, the Ministry of natural resources of Russia develops its amendments without considering either the arguments of business or the current situation in the country, in fact, zeroing out all the work done.

Today, EPR associations, manufacturers of goods and recycling companies hope that representatives of state authorities, in particular Deputy Prime Minister Viktoriya Abramchenko, will still get in touch with business and will not ruin the work on building a recycling system that has just begun to be formed in our country!

Video of the conference provided by International Information Agency Rossiya Segodnya: