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Konstantin Rzaev talks to Vedomosti about the state of the waste recycling business

Just recently, country’s largest for processing plastic packaging, TotalCycle, was launched in Tver. Konstantin Rzaev, Managing Partner of EcoPartners (which, together with ChemPartners, is part of ProPartners), shared insights into the current state of this business in Russia in an interview with "Vedomosti. Sustainable Development."
Today, 20% of plastic waste is being processed, while the rest is either used for the long term or ends up in landfills. In the future, plants may be able to process complex multi-component packaging, and one option is to simplify its composition.

Konstantin Rzaev dispelled myths about recyclers, stating that the recycling business is not as profitable as it may seem:
"Many companies exit recycling after realizing that you won't make much money from it. But for us, it's more of a mission than a business – an impact project, meaning something that solves social or environmental problems. Over the last 15 years, we have implemented numerous eco-social, educational, and enlightening projects in the field of proper waste management. We install recycling machines, actively promote responsible consumption. At the TotalCycle plant in Tver, there is a recycling museum and even eco-workshops to make everyday items from various types of waste: phone stands, 3D figures, Christmas decorations, souvenirs, and more."
Low profitability of recyclers has other reasons, as Russia currently has the world's highest prices for secondary waste. For example, a pressed PET bottle costs around 40,000 rubles per ton (excluding VAT), which is $400. In other countries, they cost $80-$350, depending on color and contamination.

According to Konstantin Rzaev, separate collection has continued to actively develop in recent years, thanks to the government's role in financing initiatives. The country's residents are increasingly aware of the importance of delivering suitable waste for recycling.

Read the full interview here.