The majority of Russian people don’t trouble themselves with bringing their plastic bottles to recycling centers, while officials consider plastic bottle recycling as a matter of some remote future.
Meanwhile, in 2007, the first Russian company using a unique bottle-to-bottle technology opened in the city of Solnechnogorsk in the Moscow Region.
Posters in Solnechnogorsk call for recycling.
“For plastic bottles only”.
They installed over 70 containers in the city as a promotion aimed at collecting and recycling plastic bottles launched by the administration of the city of Solnechnogorsk and companies Plarus, Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Hellenic, the largest producer of non-alcoholic drinks in Russia.
Although they try to explain to the citizens of Solnechnogorsk the importance of recycling, not all of them support the idea. One of the disapproving comments on recycling is “Well, it is good for the recycling company but we will have to inhale all that”.
It is amazing but a lot of people sincerely believe that Plarus, the company recycling plastic bottles, wants to poison them.
The point is that many years ago there were rumors that they wanted to build a chemical factory instead of Plarus, so people got used to the idea that they were about to get poisoned and still stick to it.
Empty plastic bottles get delivered to the recycling plant by trucks.
The main problem the company faces today is shortage of raw material and insufficient support of the city administration.
These granules are the end product of the company. They are used to produce plastic bottles.
Depending on the raw material, they receive granules that differ in color and quality.
They use granules to make preforms to blow plastic bottles.
Unfortunately, not all bottles are fit for recycling. Those red bottles, for example, are too thick and contain too much dyestuff.
Unloading another truck with plastic bottles.
One of the departments of the plant.
Here they sort out stacks of plastic bottles.
Bottles going for preliminary sorting.
Bottles which are not subject to recycling.
All these things have just been removed from the line.
Bottles which contained household chemicals, vegetable oil, kefir, paper… all that can’t be recycled at the plant.
There are tons of plastic bottles here at the plant!
The company plans to introduce special presses to press plastic bottles and keep them in stacks which will save it a lot of space.
Manual sort is very important and determines the quality of the end product of the company.
After that, they sort out plastic bottles depending on the color.
In this department, they wash plastic bottles to remove dirt and lables.
Unfortunately, there are no special standards for glue used to stick labels to the bottle (unlike in Belarus, for example) so sometimes glue wouldn’t come off even in alcaline solution.
By the way, they recycle labels and caps as well.
Then bottles go “under the knife”.
This is subproduct which is used to make granules or plastic articles such as basins.
From this room, they monitor and control manufacturing process.
In this room, they also visually check quality of the granules produced every 15 minutes. They should be evenly colored and contain no impurities.
This machine is an extruder. It melts subproduct to turn it into granules.
You can see these plastic macaroni coming out of the extruder.
The macaroni then get chilled and cut into granules.
Each sack contains about 1 ton of plastic granules.
The production department from above.
The company plans to receive a license in future to produce plastic dishes which will fit for food industry. Good luck with that!