According to Greenpeace, the UK transferred about 40% or 210,000 tons of plastic waste to Turkey last year. However, the researchers found that some of them were not recycled, but dumped on roads, fields and railways. The Greenpeace report warned that Turkey will become “Europe’s largest plastic waste landfill.”
Plastic bags and packaging from UK supermarkets and retailers in all regions in Turkey. Where is the real recycling? According to the report, the United Kingdom produces the most plastic waste per person, second only to the United States. Malaysia and Poland became the UK’s largest plastic waste exports in 2020, and Turkey received nearly 40% of its UK plastic waste exports, which was 12,000 tons in 2016 and increased by factor of 18 times in 2020. Compared with 2016, the plastic waste in Turkey tripled last year.
Nihan Temiz Atas, manager of the Greenpeace Mediterranean Biodiversity Conservation Project, based in Turkey, said: “Every day, about 241 trucks containing plastic waste come to Turkey from all over Europe, which makes us overwhelmed.” The problem is overproduction. He asked the government to urge the government. The export of plastic waste will be banned and the use of single-use plastics will be reduced by 50% by 2025.
The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs of the United Kingdom stated: “We are confident that the United Kingdom should dispose of its waste. Therefore, we are committed to strengthening controls to prohibit the export of plastic waste to non-OECD countries and restrict the export of plastic waste to countries such as Turkey. This is economically beneficial, reducing the number of landfills in the country and helping regions to achieve recycling goals.
The Minister of Environment of Malaysia said that the government had shipped 150 containers of smuggled plastic waste last year back home, 42 of them belonged to the United Kingdom. Yeo Bee Yin said that this move is aimed at preventing this southeastern nation from becoming “the garbage dump of the world.”