Moscow – The Russian government is planning to set up polyurethane waste recycling schemes across the nation by the end of 2018.
According to the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Russian polymer recycling system has many weaknesses and, of the 450,000 tonne/year of PU waste that the government estimates is collected each year, only 10% is currently recycled.
The government is proposing a $10bn programme for polymer recycling, partly funded by the state and private sectors to tackle the problem.
‘The current system of utilising polymers and polyurethanes in Russia is imperfect,’ said Viktor Ivanov, president of the Russian Union of Chemists. This is a public association of Russia’s chemical industry and scientists.
Ivanov continued: ‘A system to collect polymer and polyurethane waste has not been developed. There is a big problem of separating polyurethane waste from other solid domestic waste.’
As part of the plans, a monopoly operator responsible for collection of polyurethane and other polymer waste will be established in each region of Russia by the end of 2018. These operators will be responsible for collecting mattresses and furniture, and developing the infrastructure needed for efficient collection and separation.
It is possible that collection could be based around shopping centres.
After collection, the waste will be stored until there is enough to be recycled.
The Russian government is planning to set different tariffs for mixed and separated waste to encourage the population to pre-sort its waste.
More details are expected to emerge in March.