Governance

Turkey as a New Destination for Plastic Waste: Fivefold Increase in Import

According to a report released by the Greenpeace East Asia, Turkey's import of plastic waste from other countries has increased fivefold. Turkey's import of waste from the UK has exceeded 10 thousand tons as of October 2018.

Greenpeace East Asia released its report on global plastics trade between the years 2016 and 2018 today (April 23).

Offering an analysis of import and export data from the top 21 exporters and 21 importers of waste from around the world, the report also focuses on the offshore impact of China's foreign waste import ban.

Accordingly, the report has found that after China stopped taking in plastic waste, the global exports has clearly dropped.

While 21 top exporting countries and regions exported 12.5 tons of plastic waste in total in 2016, this figure has fallen to 5.8 tons in 2018, which accounts for a decrease of around 50 percent.

Since it is anticipated that plastic production will increase, this fall in plastic waste export means that plastics will be either stocked in countries or disposed by using wrong methods.

Turkey's import from the UK has reached 10 tons

The report of Greenpeace East Asia has shared the following information regarding Turkey and its import of plastic waste from other countries:

* Turkey's imports rose sharply from 4 thousand tons per month in early 2016 to 33 thousand tons per month in early 2018. Imports then dropped to 20 thousand tons per month in mid-2018, and has remained quite steady.

* There was a sharp increase in import from the UK at 10 thousand tons starting October 2018. The government has not announced any restrictions on plastic waste import.

'Unregulated import of waste is highly dangerous'

Speaking about Turkey's import of plastic waste from other countries, Deniz Bayram from Greenpeace Mediterranean has stated the following:

"Waste management is a serious issue which requires a comprehensive infrastructure and control mechanisms. After Mainland China has banned the import of plastic waste, Turkey has, all of a sudden, become a new destination for the waste of developed countries. But, in recycling this waste, can the goal be reached to the full?

"Is the environmental impact of waste import evaluated? Does the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization conduct an inspection? These questions do not have an answer for now.

"Turkey is a country that cannot yet deal with its own waste. For that reason, unregulated import of waste can cause further problems in Turkey's system of recycling. Before Turkey is swamped with the waste of other countries, we demand that the Ministry of Trade and Ministry of Environment and Urbanization reconsider their policies on plastic waste recycling."

Source: English Bianet