Olena Osypchuk, Communications Director of Wog and Curator of ECO Projects, talks about environmental protection projects to be implemented within Treating Nature with Kindness, a Wog environmental platform.

Wog is a company that treats environmental protection responsibly. As the country’s largest fuel supplier, we cannot afford to be environmentally passive at a time when environmental issues are a real concern among people around the world. The pollution of land and oceans by plastic waste, glass and other resistant materials has reached catastrophic proportions. However, further deterioration of the situation can be avoided through sustainable consumption of resources. Recycling of household waste, production of thermal energy and fertilizer from this waste, all this has long become a norm in the developed countries of Europe.

Taking care of the environment is not only part of Wog’s business strategy. We believe that environmental initiatives aimed at protecting Ukraine’s natural resources are our personal responsibility. This is why the company has complied with European environmental standards for many years and strives to reduce the level of harmful emissions. We have now launched Treating Nature with Kindness, an environmental platform, under which we are implementing a number of environmental projects aimed, among other things, at promoting eco-activism among our customers.

All our projects can be classified into three categories: the protection of nature against pollution, the sustainable consumption of natural resources and the promotion of eco-responsibility among the population.

Sorting of waste

As waste sorting is crucial for both the environment and the country’s economy, we have decided to offer our customers the opportunity to participate in environmental projects. To date, special paper, glass and plastic sorting bins have been installed in 34 Wog service stations in the capital. Their content is delivered separately to the corresponding companies for further processing. This is only the first step in the project, and we plan to extend this practice to all service stations in our chain.

Treatment of coffee grounds

Sorting waste is not the only way modern society approaches the tasks of preserving the environment. The sustainable consumption of natural resources and the replacement of many plastic consumables with environmentally friendly products are equally effective methods of reducing waste.

This year, in partnership with Blue Ocean Solutions (BOS), a Ukrainian environmental company, we launched a series of research projects on the treatment of the coffee grounds left over from the preparation of the favorite drink of Ukrainian drivers. The first of these products is already in use in the Wog line – coffee grounds combined with waste paper are transformed into practical biodegradable cup holders. The next step is to replace the plastic cup caps with a more environmentally friendly substitute made from coffee grounds. BOS is already working on its production technology. In addition, we supply the coffee grounds that remain after making coffee in gas stations in Lutsk for processing to the Pasternak company, where it is used for the manufacture of organic fertilizer – vermicompost.

Replacing plastic straws with quality paper straws made by BOS is another step we have taken towards reducing plastic waste. Very few cafes can boast of having a paper straw that can hold its properties for up to an hour and a half in boiling water, but Wog succeeded.

Battery collection and recycling

However, we must not forget that there is also another problem we are facing: the proper recycling of hazardous waste. Many industrial products cannot simply be thrown in the trash. Regular batteries are probably the most problematic waste. A small battery can poison an average of 16 square meters of land around it, if its surface is damaged by corrosion, which is inevitable in illegal landfill. Meanwhile, thousands of batteries are dumped in such landfills. The heavy metals contained in the batteries pollute the soil, enter groundwater and then into rivers, which supply our cities with water, poisoning not only animals, but also people.

The damage caused by improper disposal of batteries is incomparable for their size, which is why people have been urged for many years to take them to special collection points. Unfortunately, the only factory in Ukraine dealing with recycled batteries ceased operations in this region in 2018. For this reason, Ukraine simply does not have a place where this hazardous waste can be recycled.

In collaboration with Batteries, Give Up !, a public body, we will start collecting batteries again, guaranteeing their 100% recycling at GreenWEEE, a specialized factory in Romania. Considering the fact that there are Wog gas stations even in the most remote areas of the country, even residents of small towns and villages in Ukraine will be able to dispose of their batteries.

The future of our planet is everyone’s business. At Wog, we believe it is our duty to show that responsible handling of sorting, recycling and correct disposal of waste does not require excessive effort. We hope that our customers and colleagues in the market will also decide to support environmental projects and the philosophy of sustainable consumption. Together we can do so much more!

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