According to the authorities, the final decision on the document has not been made, but traditionally market participants are strained by the small attention of developers of normative documents to the opinion of business and scientists. Now the Ministry of natural resources believes that it is possible to solve the problem of low efficiency of the reform of the waste market in Russia by narrowing the responsibility of business before paying tax — and allowing the state company "Russian environmental operator" to control these funds through a special fund. Thus, a moratorium will be introduced for companies to implement EPR independently. According to "The Kommersant", in addition to combining the existing environmental and recycling fees into one, the Ministry of natural resources now proposes to include not only the investment allowance in the calculation, but also the coefficient of "ecological track", taking into account the environmental friendliness of the package. Pavel Rudas, Executive Director of RusPRO Association, commented on the question of The DairyNews. The Association is a non-profit organization. The activities of the Association are aimed at stimulating the emergence of a closed-cycle economy in the country and sustainable development of relations in the field of waste management.
Market mechanisms never start "vertically", stressed Pavel Rudas. Many processes need acceleration and the critical speed to "fly".
- The introduction of a moratorium on the independent implementation of EPR in practice will negate the efforts of business aimed at implementing the development of infrastructure for separate waste collection in Russia and increasing the use of secondary (recycled) raw materials in the production of packaging. Independent implementation of EPR is a more effective way for business- here work the principles of market economy, - believes Pavel Rudas.
According to RusPRO, many environmental initiatives of companies are directly related to global strategies for sustainable development and the development of a closed-cycle economy in the production of packaging. They are based on the legally enshrined right of business to independent implementation of EPR.
- RusPRO, represented by all members of the Association, considers it correct to increase gradually the standard for the disposal of goods and packaging. This approach is logical and as transparent as possible and is supported by all market participants, - said Pavel Rudas.
Indeed, all over the world, responding to consumer trends, large and local companies are aimed at optimizing the work with production and waste-free activities, or at least reducing the amount of waste to zero. Universal control over business in this matter as in any other is a very controversial strategy that requires a balanced approach. And the creation of a Single Environmental Operator should not in any way jeopardize the independent execution of EPR by producers.
TNCs all over the world (and Russia is no exception) invest millions of dollars in environmental issues
- The additional tax will mean an increase in the cost of production of a unit of product - from 0.3% to 2%, which will for sure affect consumers, especially in the dairy industry. A Single Environmental Operator can administer those who, for some reason, do not participate in the EPR process. And there are a lot of such market players too, - emphasized Pavel Rudas.
According to Elena Razumova, head of the agro-industrial markets analysis unit of the AC under the government of the Russian Federation, the reform of extended producer responsibility (EPR) is very ambiguous. On the one hand, it can contribute to the development of exports of environmentally friendly Russian products, and on the other risks turning into a "headache" for companies.
"Objectively, there are reasons for such an initiative in terms of food exports - the environmental friendliness of products during export will be monitored especially seriously. In addition, there is a problem of protection of agricultural land, - said Elena Razumova. - At the same time, it will bring some complications for enterprises. Therefore, such reform is a double-edged sword. If we implement it, we will be able to start exporting environmentally friendly, proven products and attract investment in organic agriculture, and on the other - there is a risk that we will overload companies with such initiatives".
The effectiveness of this initiative is difficult to assess clearly – it will be possible to settle something, of course, and something - not. According to the expert's forecast, certain success should be expected in working with wastewater. What cannot be said about solid waste - this direction of the new reform is unlikely to work effectively.
The widespread creation of operators in all directions is not a panacea for solving all urgent problems. There is no solution on the horizon yet. We can hope that the authorities will listen to business.