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Silk Way Rally participants to collect plastic waste for recycling

July 20/ 11:25

Moscow. Silk Way Rally, an international off-road race, is scheduled to kick off in Astrakhan on 20 July 2018. SIBUR is sponsoring an environmental awareness initiative involving separate collection of plastic bottles along the race route.

In 2017, the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment launched the Sort It Right initiative, a nation-wide project focusing on environmentally friendly management of household waste. The goal of the project is to foster a partnership between NGOs, business and government to develop and implement best separate waste collection practices and raise awareness about the importance of correct waste disposal and personal contribution to the environmental protection efforts.

Organisers of the international Silk Way Rally have joined forces with SIBUR (Silk Way Rally's technical partner in innovative materials for the second year running) to support the Ministry's initiative and stage an environmental marathon during the rally.

Waste is a valuable resource. The problem of plastic pollution (with the share of plastic waste currently standing at 10–15%) stems from people's disinterest in separate waste collection practices. A major environmental advantage of plastics is that they are nearly 100% recoverable and recyclable. Moreover, a lightweight plastic bottle is ecologically safer to transport (including during the race) than containers made of other materials. The above initiative was therefore designed to raise awareness about best practices in separate waste collection and disposal.

The rally raid, which is set to take place on 20–27 July 2018, will see SIBUR’s partner, EcoTechnologies Group, make arrangements for the separate collection of plastic bottles at camp sites accommodating the world’s leading racers, renowned teams, journalists, organisers and convoy vehicles while they take rest from the gruelling race. When the collection is over, the materials will be transported to the regional partners for further recycling.

The race winners finishing their run at Red Square on 27 July 2018 will get special prizes from SIBUR and EcoTechnologies – T-shirts made from recycled plastic bottles collected during the rally, the company said.

During the official presentation of the race route, the Silk Way Rally participants supported the environmental marathon initiative, with both Russian and foreign racers expressing their desire to contribute.

Luc Alphand, Advisor to the Silk Way Rally Organisation Committee (France): “We must support separate waste collection not only during the races, but also as part of our day-to-day lives. I really wish we could promote this idea globally. My wife is from Sweden where this approach has been around for years. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many people, so our rally may serve as an example for them. This is of great significance. There are still some people in France who do not separate their waste, and we are trying to communicate the importance of this initiative to them”.

Nani Roma, X-raid pilot (Spain): “Separate waste collection during the rally is an excellent idea as we are setting an example for the followers from across the globe. We have been doing this for quite a while at other rallies. I represent the team of Germany which is known for placing a special emphasis on cleanliness”.

Vladimir Vasilyev, VRT pilot (Russia): “As an outspoken advocate of keeping the planet clean and an ardent environmentalist, I (as well as my teammates) never throw empty bottles along the way and only dispose of them at dedicated spots. This is why we are happy to join SIBUR's initiative”.

Maria Oparina, Suprotec Racing pilot (Russia): “I support the idea of separate waste collection. I started thinking of doing it myself quite a while ago inspired by my European friends who use seven containers for different types of waste. We should have embarked on this path years ago, that's what I know for sure, but even now it is not too late if we want to keep the environment clean for future generations. So I think this a great move forward, and I say yes to it!”

Airat Mardeev, KAMAZ-master pilot (Russia): “Waste collection is a major issue all over the world. We will be happy to support SIBUR's initiative and do our best to follow the rules. When it comes to environmental protection, Russia still has a long way to go. We should follow the example of our Western neighbours. I am pleased to see though that the topic is gaining traction, with an increasing amount of money and resources invested in the implementation of ecological initiatives. And we are bound to succeed if we join our efforts in making the world a cleaner place to live in”.

Sergei Kariakin, SNAG Racing pilot (Russia): “Unfortunately, this problem receives undeservedly little attention here in Russia. I believe that respecting nature means respecting yourself. This is why I think that SIBUR's initiative comes in very handy. I expect all teams and participants to support it and make their contributions. For our part, we promise to give it full backing!”

Vladimir Chagin, Silk Way Rally project director: “The rally that traditionally receives an extensive coverage in the media seeks, among other things, to communicate our support for the initiative of our partner SIBUR involving separate collection of plastic waste at camp sites and its subsequent disposal”.

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