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DOI: 10.18413/2408-9338-2021-7-1-0-8

Transformation of social and environmental practices of waste management in the mentality of Russian citizens

The article, based on mini-interviews with citizens (n=170), examines the problem of perceiving waste as environmental practice, personal influence, understanding the practice of separate waste collection and motivation for it as the main environmental practice accessible to citizens. Theories of sustainable behavior (activation theory, norms; values-convictions; planned behavior theory) are used to compile and analyze the results. Personal contribution to the problem of waste is recognized by 90% of respondents, but only 30% of the sample carries it out. The level of knowledge about the problem of waste among Russians is high, but this does not mean persistent motivation to pro-ecological action, because they are determined not only by the balance of values (egoistic or ecological), but also by the balance of locus of control (what a person can, and what society can/should do). The core motivation that divides respondents into environmentally active and non-environmentally active comes down to comfort, comfort for eco-activists means a clean future (biosphere values prevail), and comfort for those who do not share waste – conditions (convenient infrastructure, benefits), which is confirmed by modern Western studies. In Russian reality, the complex of personal responsibility is manifested only in environmental activists. Like the all-Russian study, the interviews showed the importance of implementing a widespread infrastructure of separate collection, strengthening economic and social motivation. In the article, the citizens highlighted the recommendations at the macro, meso and micro level for different stakeholders, they come down to the improvement of collection infrastructure, greater involvement of municipal and state authorities, ensuring recycling, as well as the tightening of measures for undesirable behavior in the field of waste management.

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