Four easy ways to keep Kyiv cleaner

Kyiv Post - - Lifestyle - BY AR­TUR KORNI­IENKO KORNI­[email protected]

Slowly but surely, gov­ern­ments are en­act­ing new laws that re­duce waste and tackle plas­tic pol­lu­tion. The Euro­pean Par­lia­ment has taken plenty of de­ci­sive steps in this area, most re­cently ap­prov­ing a ban on sin­gle-use plas­tics by 2021. With four easy tips, our guide will help you stay ahead of the times and make the planet a lit­tle cleaner, start­ing with Kyiv.

Re­us­able shop­ping bags

Ukraine’s cap­i­tal can learn some­thing from a re­sort town called Slavske in Lviv Oblast. Deputies of the lo­cal com­mu­nity have banned the use of plas­tic bags in town and rec­om­mended to re­place them with eco-friendly al­ter­na­tives made from fab­ric, pa­per or biodegrad­able ma­te­ri­als.

Since most of the stores in Kyiv don’t have pa­per or biodegrad­able al­ter­na­tives, the best idea is to get your own re­us­able shop­ping bags made from fab­ric.

There are tons of places where you can buy a large tote bag for your gro­ceries. Some­times you can get them for free as a brand’s pro­mo­tional item. But make sure you al­ways have one with you when go­ing shop­ping. Al­ways keep­ing a mid-sized tote bag in your purse or back­pack should do the trick.

Smaller bags for loose goods like fruits, veg­eta­bles and grains are harder to come by. But in the past year, many lo­cal busi­nesses have started to pro­duce them due to in­creas­ing de­mand. Mostly they sell ex­clu­sively through In­sta­gram. Here are our three picks:

• Ecobag UA: cot­ton or trans­par­ent net bags — Hr 250 for six pcs. In­sta­gram.com/ecobag_ua.

• Care­ful Store: polyester trans­par­ent net bags — Hr 150 for five pcs; string bags and tote bags — Hr 220–240. In­sta­gram.com/care­ful.store.

• Do­bra Torba: bags from mul­ti­ple fab­rics — Hr 50; tote bags — Hr 150. In­sta­gram.com/do­bra.torba.

Re­us­able con­tain­ers

Cups for bev­er­ages are an­other top-polluter of the oceans and should be banned in Eu­rope by 2021 un­der the new Euro­pean Par­lia­ment di­rec­tive. This in­cludes both plas­tic and so-called “pa­per cups,” that are still coated with plas­tic on the in­side to pre­vent leak­ing through pa­per.

Biodegrad­able al­ter­na­tives are rare to see in Kyiv’s cafes, so your most re­spon­si­ble so­lu­tion would be to bring your own re­us­able cup there to be filled with your drink of choice. Some of the city’s cafes will give a dis­count for this, in­clud­ing My Book­shelf, Vegano Hooligano and Mira Cafe.

Some places in Kyiv have re­placed plas­tic straws with pa­per and re­us­able metal ones, like Bali Bowl, All True East and City-Zen cafes. You can also buy your own metal straw and use it wher­ever you go.

Fol­low the same logic with wa­ter bot­tles and con­tain­ers for food — buy and re­use one sturdy al­ter­na­tive in­stead of re­sort­ing to flimsy sin­gle-use plas­tics. You can re­fill your wa­ter bot­tle in some cafes for free or from a wa­ter cooler at work. And you can use your food con­tainer to bring lunch to work and pack take-out food from a res­tau­rant.

• Ozero: re­us­able cups — Hr 385– 500; metal straws — Hr 50; con­tain­ers — Hr 700–1,400. Face­book.com/ Oze­roUA.

• Cooleco: re­us­able cups — Hr 450; metal straws — Hr 450; wa­ter bot­tles — Hr 259–299. Face­book.com/pg/ cooleco.bags.

• Ben­to­box UA: re­us­able cups — Hr 480–700; lunch­boxes — Hr 640– 1,344. Ben­to­box.com.ua.

Sort waste and re­cy­cle

The Min­istry of Ecol­ogy here has an am­bi­tious strat­egy for man­ag­ing waste: by 2030 about 70 per­cent of it should be reused of re­cy­cled. For now, it’s only up to 5 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to Ostap Se­merak, Ukrainian Min­is­ter of Ecol­ogy.

There is a long way to go, and it starts at a trash bin in your home, or rather trash bins, where the waste should get sorted out.

The most ba­sic way to go about it is to sort ev­ery­thing into three piles: plas­tic, pa­per and all other waste. Don’t for­get that con­tain­ers have to be rinsed be­fore be­ing put in the waste bin.

You can add two more bins for glass and metal if you have lots of it. If not, you can put the odd glass bot­tle or tin can in the bin for plas­tic, and then put it where it be­longs at the sort­ing sta­tion. It’s im­por­tant to put aside po­ten­tially haz­ardous waste like bat­ter­ies, light bulbs and medicine that are pro­cessed sep­a­rately.

Sort­ing can seem com­pli­cated at first, but there is a cheat sheet to help you — a free app in Ukrainian called “” or “Sort,” that has in­for­ma­tion on how dif­fer­ent types of waste should be sorted and where best to turn them in. Sort also has a map of sort­ing sta­tions in Kyiv.

You are lucky if you have re­cy­cling bins by your house that get taken to re­cy­cling cen­ters. But most likely you don’t in which case you have to find the clos­est sort­ing sta­tions on the map pro­vided by the Sort app. The most nu­mer­ous ones are the sta­tions of KyivMiskV­torResursy and No Waste Ukraine.

• Sort: an app with sort­ing guide and re­cy­cling sta­tions map. Green­pro­ject. org.ua.

• KyivMiskV­torResursy: re­cy­cling sta­tions ac­cept­ing plas­tic, pa­per, glass, tin cans. Kgvr.kiev.ua.

• No Waste Ukraine: re­cy­cling sta­tions ac­cept­ing plas­tic, pa­per, glass, clothes, wood, metal, bat­ter­ies. Nowaste.com.ua.

Do­nate, sell old clothes

One less ob­vi­ous in­dus­try that con­trib­utes a lot to pol­lu­tion is the fash­ion in­dus­try. Grow­ing cot­ton re­quires vast amounts of wa­ter and pes­ti­cides which harm the soil and lead to draught. Col­or­ing and print­ing on clothes in­volve chem­i­cals, some of which can cause can­cer, ac­cord­ing to Green­peace re­search.

The harm is in­ten­si­fied by mod­ern fast fash­ion prac­tices when clothes are pro­duced quickly and cheaply to cap­ture the lat­est fash­ion trends, and then are quickly dis­posed of. Most of it ends up in land­fill, and clothes from polyester take as long as plas­tic to de­com­pose.

The so­lu­tion is sim­ply to buy fewer clothes. When you do, try stick­ing to sus­tain­able fash­ion brands that min­i­mize their im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment and boast bet­ter qual­ity and dura­bil­ity. Some Ukrainian brands, like Re­made and RCR Khomenko, turn to up­cy­cling: cre­at­ing new items out of used clothes.

Your own clothes that you don’t re­ally wear can get a new life if you do­nate them. Those most in need will get them if you bring clothes to the Ukrainian Red Cross So­ci­ety or Car­i­tas Ukraine. There are also re­cy­cling boxes for clothes at the H&M shop and some OKKO ser­vice sta­tions.

Laska Char­ity Store will sell the clothes you bring and give the pro­ceeds to char­ity and so­cial city im­prove­ment. You can also ex­change your used clothes at Bank Odi­ahu, or sim­ply sell it through OLX.ua. The planet will thank you.

• Ukrainian Red Cross So­ci­ety — clothes do­na­tion. 30 Pushkin­ska St.; 10–6 Sofi­ivska St. Red­cross.org.ua.

• Car­i­tas Ukraine — clothes do­na­tion. 7B Ivana Mykytenka St. Car­i­task­iev.org.ua.

• Laska Char­ity Store — clothes do­na­tion. 3 Lypyn­skoho St. Laska­s­tore. com.

A vol­un­teer for No Waste Ukraine talks about re­cy­cling with vis­i­tors of the or­ga­ni­za­tion's re­cy­cling sta­tion on Sept. 24, 2018 in Kyiv. No Waste Ukraine has two re­cy­cling sta­tions in Kyiv that ac­cept plas­tic, pa­per, glass, metal, bat­ter­ies. (No Waste Ukraine/An­drei Max­i­mov)

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