May 25, 2021
Following a hard-hitting Greenpeace report that accused the United Kingdom government of not doing enough to tackle plastics recycling, Turkey bans future imports of the plastic waste.
Turkey’s Trade Ministry published a notice (www.resmigazete.gov.tr) on 18 May banning the import of plastic waste following the recently published report by Greenpeace that said Turkey had become the main recipient of British plastic waste following China’s 2017 decision to ban the import of many types of plastics.
The Trade Ministry’s notice gives companies 45 days to complete customs procedures for waste that was already in transit but had not yet reached Turkey.
The Greenpeace report said “about 40% – or 210,000 tonnes – of the UK’s plastic waste exports were sent to Turkey last year and then illegally dumped and burned and that Turkey was becoming Europe’s “largest plastic waste dump.”
“EU member states exported 20 times more plastic waste to Turkey in 2020 than they did in 2016, with the volume increasing from 22,000 tons to 447,000 tons,” the Greenpeace report said.
Turkey’s Daily News reports: “Turkey has never imported waste. As a matter of fact, we banned mixed plastic waste import completely at the beginning of 2021,” said Turkey’s Environment and Urban Planning Minister Murat Kurum.
Speaking at a press conference held in Ankara, Kurum said that with the new regulations, inspections and controls of the wastes at the customs will take place timely.”
The Guardian newspaper reports: “Greenpeace said the ban involved polyethylene plastic used in 94% of the UK waste exported to Turkey. It includes yoghurt pots, salad bags and plastic film. The UK exported nearly 198,000 tonnes of polyethylene to Turkey in 2020.
“Plastic drinks bottles – made of polypropylene – are not included in the ban.”
Our take on this: Since China banned the import of plastic waste western countries have looked to others to solve the plastic waste problem. Malaysia, Indonesia and now Turkey are all closing their doors to waste plastics which is long term good news for the office imaging industry. Each country will have to invest in plastics recycling and that can only be good news and drive down the cost of recycling for everyone.
Categories : World Focus