Citizens’ Socio-economic Practices аs а Resource to Alleviate the Waste Issue in Russia

Citizens’ Socio-economic Practices аs а Resource to Alleviate the Waste Issue in Russia

Shabanova M.A.

Dr. Sci.(Soc.), Professor, Lead Research Associate, the Center for Studies of Civil Society and the Nonprofit Sector, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

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Shabanova M.A. Citizens’ Socio-economic Practices аs а Resource to Alleviate the Waste Issue in Russia. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2019. No 6. P. 50-63


Drawing upon an All­Russia Representative Survey (2017, N = 2000), this paper is the first to present the data on the actual and potential involvement of the population in separate collection of household waste (currently a purely voluntary practice) as well as in various socio­economic practices aiming to reduce (directly or indirectly) the generation of waste. These practices include a reduced use of plastic bags; the purchase of goods in recyclable/dissolvable packaging, 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; avoiding excessive consumption or buying items that are not really necessary; reducing energy and water consumption. Various practices are shown to appeal differently to different groups of Russians. A binary logit regression model is applied to assess the connection between involvement of individuals in various practices and their socio­demographic characteristics, education, income, type of the population center, specific value orientations as well as membership in associations, participation in NPOs and civic initiatives. The study uncovers positions with regard to separate collection of household waste (a key practice to alleviate the waste issue) held by participants (and nonparticipants) in other socio­economic practices. The identified fragmentary nature of the present­day array of practices aiming to alleviate the waste issue in Russia as well as the degree and conditions of their intersection with separate collection of household waste underscore the importance of developing a more comprehensive policy in this sphere that would expand entry channels and possibilities for various population groups.

waste issue; civil society; consumers’ environmental and social responsibility; proenvironmental behavior; separate collection of household waste; socio­economic practices


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