Turkey says reports UK waste plastics were dumped in the country are not true

Murat Kurum
Turkish Environment Minister Murat Kurum

Turkey’s Ministry of Environment, Urbanisation and Climate Change has said reports that UK waste plastics were dumped there are not true.

News agency Bloomberg had reported that plastic company Eurokey had exported waste plastics on behalf of Tesco. It reported that it had used digital trackers and discovered the material was on an industrial estate in the region of Adana.


But Environment Minister Murat Kurum said this wasn’t true.

He said that seven teams had scanned the entire region and not found any hazardous or illegal material and noted that the area where the material was supposedly found was where a number of recycling facilities are located.

The Minister added: “The images [from the Bloomberg story] were also examined and it was understood that the images were not new, and no hazardous waste was found in that area. The news and all the information contained in it are completely baseless and do not reflect the truth.”

In addition, the Minister said that the import of hazardous, non-recoverable and disposal-purpose waste is prohibited with no more than 1% contamination permitted. He added that any imported waste also needed to be tracked from customs to any facility using the mobile waste transportation system MoTAT.

He said: “It is forbidden not only to import waste imported within the scope of recycling, but also for waste collected in the domestic market to be abandoned to nature and burned in a way that harms the environment.

“There have been allegations about Adana before. We took soil samples from 11 points where it was claimed that hazardous wastes were burned and the soil damaged, and no parameters that would pose a danger to the environment and human health were detected in the analysis.

“We are very sensitive about matters pertaining to our country, our environment and our nature. Let alone allowing harm, we are resolutely carrying out works that will leave a better environment and a clean nature to future generations with the steps we take, and we will continue with determination from now on.”

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