Krzhizhanovskogo Street, 24/35, korpus 5, 117218, Moscow, Russia
Tel.: +7 (499) 128-85-19
Fax: +7 (495) 719-07-40
Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Russia was affected by a waste management crisis at a later point than developed countries, due to the fact that during Soviet times everyday consumption was limited by a shortage of goods. After our country made the transition to capitalism, especially during the years of abundance, Russia’s population strived towards compensating the deprivation of the past by actively consuming goods with no regard for the affects on the environment. The reason for such behavior lies in the population’s peculiar system of values, defined by our country’s history. Meanwhile the government had been completely ignoring the need for developing a waste management system which would suit the people’s new lifestyle. It is quite obvious that such a crisis was imminent. However, its nature came as a surprise to government and municipal management. Due to this fact, the decisions they make are very much flawed, and they do not contribute to stability in our society, but rather postpone the resolution of the issue in question. Actual change to the situation lies not at the end of a product’s life cycle, but rather at its beginning. Which is why the experience of European nations must be taken into consideration, where they actively implement circular (cyclical) economy principles into social and economic activity. This means that goods can not only be purchased, but also repaired, reused, modernized, passed on or resold etc. In order to implement such actions, there is a need for specific infrastructure, with the internet being a key component of such. We are already witnessing the spontaneous advancement of sharing platforms, where people swap goods or give them away for free, but this is not enough. Similarly to centers of overconsumption such as the “Zimnyaya Vishnya” shopping mall, dispersed prosumerism platforms need to appear, where people would engage in the various stages of reproducing goods for personal or public use. Such public spaces would allow for developing activities which consolidate local communities and family groups, and which eliminate consumers’ detachment from produced goods by means of developing an understanding of their content and their reproduction life cycle. One of the conditions or manifestations of transforming society’s lifestyle would be a shift in city infrastructure, away from widespread centralized consumption. This would decrease the environmental and technological risks, as well as increase the population’s living standards.
shopping malls, consumer society, over-consumption, trans consumption, waste management system, municipal solid waste, prosumerism, cyclical / circular economy.
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