Turkish packaging boss calls for China-like zero waste import policy

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Turkish Packaging Manufacturers' Association president Zeki Saribekir

The President of Turkey’s Packaging Manufacturers’ Association (ASD) has said that his country should reduce imports of waste to zero in three to four years.

Zeki Saribekir wants Turkey to follow the example of China and ban all imports of materials such as plastics and paper.

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On plastics, he may have got his wish now that the country has effectively banned the import of most plastics.

He said: “We must reduce the imports of waste gradually, just like China has done, and reduce it to zero within three to four years.”

This followed the news that Turkey was now the largest source of exports from the European Union.

Instead of importing material, he wants to see more collected in Turkey with it collected separately by local authorities.

He added: “The recycling of packaging is very important in contributing to the country’s economy and the environment. Packages are not garbage – on the contrary, they are economical materials.

“We also import plastic, which is an input into our production. We must strengthen the recycling infrastructure of our country and reduce imports to zero over time. The recycling of our own waste will contribute greatly to our economy.”

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