Turkey becoming new dumpsite for world’s plastic waste - Greenpeace

Turkey and Indonesia have become the new locations of the world’s plastic waste, after China imposed a ban on plastic waste imports, according to an April report by environmental protection organisation Greenpeace.

The report says that the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan are the world’s leading plastic waste exporters and their waste has been redirected en masse to Indonesia and Turkey, which are two of the major current global importers

Turkey’s plastic waste imports rose sharply from 4,000 tons per month in early 2016 to 33,000 tons per month in early 2018, the report said. Imports then dropped to 20,000 tons per month in mid-2018, and has since remained quite steady.

Starting from October 2018, plastic waste imports from the United Kingdom spiked, while the Turkish government has not announced any restrictions on plastic waste import, according to Greenpeace.

 Imports of plastic scraps coming into Turkey (in tons), showing the top 10 export partners. (Source: Greenpeace)
Imports of plastic scraps coming into Turkey (in tons), showing the top 10 export partners. (Source: Greenpeace)

“Turkey is a country that cannot even manage to handle its own waste. Therefore uncontrolled waste imports to Turkey can ramp up Turkey’s own problems regarding its own recycling system,”  Deniz Bayram, a legal counsel at Greenpeace Mediterranean, told BBC Turkish.