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Tuesday, July 10 2012 | Plarus, Europlast and Protey

Once again we are up and about very early, for the first appointment is at 8.30 at Plarus in Solnechnogorsk, some 15 kilometres from Europlast. Plarus, a PET recycling company, is part of the big Europlast group, so it makes sense to interview both Plarus and Europlast itself. A mere 15 minutes later we are there.

At the Plarus factory we are met by Alexander Bystrykh and his assistant Svetlana Lukina. Over a cup of coffee, the two explain the project and its development so far. Plarus is the first plant in the whole of Russia to handle bottle-to-bottle recycling of PET bottles, from which in turn they produce PET flakes and granulate. It is all the more interesting in that up to now there has been no PET recycler, and a bottle collection system was first installed locally by Plarus in Solnechnogorsk.

Joining us for a tour of the factory is Victoria Kashevarova, PR Manager for Europlast. We have a brief discussion before leaving for Europlast itself, where Pavel Fedunin, the Head of Marketing, gives us a brief rundown before taking us to meet CEO Leonid Mikhailovich Belyaev and project manager Vartan Bagdasaryan, to talk more fully about Europlast, their products and the Russian market in general. We are running to a very tight schedule today, and after a rapid tour of the facility, and the usual photo-shoot, we get on our way to our afternoon appointment with Protey, who are located on precisely the other side of Moscow.

It is an unfortunate fact of life that the best-laid plans can often go awry in big cities like Moscow, and sometimes contacts can be missed on some days. It’s very much a stop-go situation, which can be a bit frustrating. A further annoyance is that one of the 12v connections has broken, and we need it for all the equipment we are carrying. There’s also a glitch with the water tank, where the display is permanently registering “full”. No time to do anything about it for the minute as we must get a move on, because traffic congestion is seriously holding us up.

Finally, by late afternoon we get to Protey. Despite our most valiant efforts, we haven’t managed to keep to the timetable. However, we do receive a warm welcome from Dmitriy Naidenov, chairman, and Sergey Ribachev, production manager. The discussion is interesting, partly because Protey, in addition to its PET bottles and preforms, has been engaged for some time in a test phase for the manufacture of a vehicle component for a well-known manufacturer. It is already 8.30 in the evening when we finish a tour of the factory, and we make our way to the Editourmobil for the final photos. Meanwhile Felix has not been idle, and has cleaned the entire vehicle and is now busying himself with the windows. Constant nagging from Rolf and me has finally paid off!

To save ourselves a stressful morning, we decide even at this late hour to head off in the direction of the city centre where tomorrow we have been invited to the Husky Moscow refurbishment project. Frankly I am exhausted at the end of this very long day, and I’m already in the land of nod as Rolf and Felix guide the Editourmobil past the Kremlin at two o’clock in the morning.