International off-road race, Silk Way Rally, which kicked off in Astrankhan yesterday (Friday), is incorporating an international awareness-raising initiative which will promote the recycling qualities of plastic bottles and aim to educate consumers globally about their correct disposal.
The environmental awareness initiative involves 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 have stated that waste is a valuable resource and a major environmental advantage of plastics is that they are nearly 100% recoverable and recyclable, with lightweight plastic bottles being ecologically safer to transport (including during the race) than containers made of other materials. The initiative aims to raise consumer awareness about best practices in separate waste collection and disposal.
The rally raid, which runs until July 27th, 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 will get special prizes from SIBUR and EcoTechnologies – T-shirts made from recycled plastic bottles collected during the rally.
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) said: “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) said separate waste collection during the rally is an excellent idea as it sets a global example. She said: “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.”
Airat Mardeev, KAMAZ-master pilot (Russia) and Sergei Kariakin, SNAG Racing pilot (Russia) said, when it comes to environmental protection, their country still has a long way to go. “We should follow the example of our Western neighbours,” Airat said. “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.”