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Article

Socio-Economic Practices of Russia’s Population: Alleviating the Waste Problem

Social Sciences. 2019. Vol. 50. No. 2. P. 3-20.
Translator: V. Levina.

The author has relied on the results of the All-Russia Representative Survey (2017, N=2000) to present for the first time information about the level of real and potential involvement of Russia’s population in separate waste collection (SWC) as well as varied social-economic practices related directly or indirectly to waste generation. These practices include a reduced use of plastic single-use shopping bags; purchase of goods in recyclable/dissolvable containers, with minimum or without any packaging at all; donating unnecessary items in good condition to others; buying exactly the amount of food that is needed so as not to throw away the excess; avoidance of overconsumption or of buying items that are not really necessary; reducing energy and water consumption. It has been established that the contemporary space of alleviating practices varies where their participants are confirmed; they differ by their social and demographic characteristics, the statuses of the settlements they live in; axiological orientations and attitudes, etc. and by the motives that drive them—either egoistical and/or prosocial. A binary logit-regression model is applied to assess the connection between the involvement of individuals in various practices and their socio-demographic characteristics, education, income, type of the population center, specific value orientations as well as membership in associations, participation in NPOs and civil initiatives. The degree of intersection of participants in various practices as well as their positions on involvement (and noninvolvement) in separate collection of household waste has been clarified. It was discovered that the contemporary space of practices related to the alleviation of the waste problem in Russia is fragmented as well as the degree and conditions of their intersection with the separate collection of household waste issue. This means that this sphere needs a more integrated policy to widen the channels and possibilities for the groups wishing to join it.