SOME IMPRESSIONS OF THE USE OF PLASTICS IN THE U.S.S.R.
What I describe can only give a brief indication of their use of and interest in plastics. Because of the difficulties of language, the size of the country and the limited contact with other western countries it is difficult to be sure of facts or at least the interpretation of them. It is difficult for those of us who come from much smaller countries to appreciate the distances involved, the wide range of climate from sub-tropical to arctic and the severity of the continental winter. Wherever we went, however, we found those concerned both with research, development and commercial crop production, keen and anxious to exchange information.
About 3700 ha are devoted to protected cropping comprising 500 ha of glasshouses, 1000 ha of plastic and 2200 ha frames. The industry tends to be concentrated on the outskirts of the larger towns and in the south around the Black Sea. In the north and central areas there is a shortage of fresh vegetables in winter but in the south continuous cropping is possible. Cucumbers are the main crop, occupying almost 80% of the area with tomatoes accounting for only 15%. There is only a very minor interest in flower crops but this is increasing.
Our journey began in Moscow and we then went on in turn to Leningrad, Tallinn, Sochi, Yalta, Kiev, Kharkov and back to Moscow. I now propose to list those places we visited where there was an interest in plastics.