Turkey's Zero Waste Project aims to stem trash rather than boost recycling

Published 08.11.2019 17:47
Updated 20.12.2019 01:32

The main goal of Turkey's zero waste regulation is to prevent waste rather than increase waste recycling, an expert on environmental efforts said.

"Over 26,000 institutions and more than 2 million people across Turkey have been educated on zero waste," Şule Bektaş, an expert at the Zero Waste Management Department of Turkey's Environment and Urbanization Ministry, said at a zero waste regulation meeting in the capital Ankara.

Speaking on the goals of the regulation, she said, "By this, it is intended to reuse waste by recycling, but the main goal with zero waste is not to increase recycling in society but to prevent and reduce the amount of waste."

Mentioning the three steps that comprise the zero waste effort – preventing/decreasing waste, reusing and recycling – Bektaş said new long-term products should be designed, the content of hazardous substances in waste should be reduced, and substances harmful to the environment and human health should be eliminated from products.

"Although zero waste has been the issue for the last 30 years around the world, it has discussed much more recently as waste has become a major problem for the whole world as well as Turkey," Bektaş said. She noted that the linear economy model is responsible for the current waste problem, highlighting that resources are produced, distributed, consumed and disposed of, which becomes burdensome, requiring high costs to manage.

"The whole world has a problem with this model and resource demand, prices, climate change and environmental pollution have increased," she said.

Turkey's Zero Waste Management System regulation, which was published on June 12 in the Official Gazette, aims to reduce the volume of nonrecyclable waste as well as hold public institutions, organizations and provincial governorates with a population of more than 250,000 responsible for waste management by 2020.

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