The first batch of disposable tableware was sent for processing in Moscow

Take with you

Every Muscovite or guest of the capital at least once in his life took a hot drink to take away: it does not matter, in a branded coffee shop with a world name or just in the window of the first floor of a five-story building with the inscription "Coffee". The glass in which it is served is very convenient: it does not burn your hands and keeps you warm, and even sealed thanks to the film that is trimmed inside.

- The glass consists of two components: cardboard and polyethylene or polystyrene, which must be processed separately, - said Dmitry Gutman, executive director of the processing complex near Moscow (Solnechnogorsk experimental mechanical plant). - The main difficulty is that these components need to be separated. I was prompted to address this problem by the pandemic, during which my family, like many other residents of the capital, often ordered food and coffee from public catering to take home. The result is an impressive bag of paper cups. Our small factory specializes in the processing of recyclable materials coming from the capital - cardboard and paper. We decided to take the risk of recycling the cups too. Separated polyethylene and paper. Pulpercarton was made of paper. Did some experiments and found out that a glass can have up to 30 lives, and then the material disintegrates into dust.

The plant started looking for suppliers of used cups. I didn't have to go far. One of the large catering chains also thought about collecting and recycling such dishes at that time.

"We have been sending cardboard and paper for recycling for a long time. We decided to conduct an experiment, put containers for cups separately. Visitors supported, now there are containers for collection at 19 points. By the end of the year, we will supply boxes in 40 more points", - Irina Korshunova, senior director for development and product quality of a large catering network, told RG.

The cup consists of two components: cardboard and polyethylene or polystyrene, which must be recycled separately

A major metropolitan regional operator that collects waste from residential areas of the north and center of the capital, Ecoline Group, has become the connecting thread of processors and suppliers. “We take waste from public catering, we export part of the cardboard to a plant near Moscow, so we know both of them well,” Elena Vishnyakova, deputy general director of Ecoline Group of Companies, told RG. “We tried to combine their work and connect another of our major partners to the chain. , Lipetsk plant processing Tetrapack packaging.

As a result, 1.3 thousand tons of cups have been collected since the beginning of the year. How many of them are used in Russia per year is difficult to say due to the large share of imports. According to the most conservative estimates, experts say, more than 40 billion pieces. Of course, the best solution is to reject disposable containers altogether. But while this product is in demand, we will have to look for ways to process it.

Where do the glasses go

From the first batch of paper cups we got pulper carton, which is used to make disposable trays, beddings for containers for vegetables and berries, seals-fillings for breakable gifts, packing material. And several factories producing paving slabs and building mixtures became interested in polyethylene. But, as businessmen complain, there was too little of this material in the trial batch.

855 thousand tons of recyclable materials were collected by Muscovites for processing in 2020