Recycling Sector Seeks Lifting of Polyethylene Scrap Import Ban

Recycling sector wants the import ban on polyethylene scrap to be lifted
Recycling sector wants the import ban on polyethylene scrap to be lifted

Recycling sector representatives, which is one of the important areas in the growth and development of the Turkish economy, said that the polyethylene scrap import ban will cause grievances in the sector that employs 350 thousand people in Turkey. Stating that the decision taken will affect the European Green Deal harmonization efforts negatively, sector representatives expect the ban to be reviewed as soon as possible.

At the request of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, the import of mixed scrap plastic was first banned as of January 1, 2021. As of May 18, 2021, imports of Ethylene Polymer waste were also banned. Following these developments, representatives of the recycling sector made evaluations about the effects of the polyethylene scrap import ban on the sector. Stating that approximately 330 recycling sector companies, large and small, operate in Bursa, Bursa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BTSO) Council Member and 14th Professional Committee Member Kağan Yeşil said that the enterprises will experience great grievances after the import ban decision. Stating that the employees in the sector are faced with the danger of being unemployed, Yeşil said, “In addition to the coronavirus epidemic that affected the whole world, our industry faced a different problem. As the sector, this decision should be reversed as soon as possible. This is the expectation of our industry. " said.


Pointing out the importance of carrying out the inspection activities, which are one of the basic functions of the state, in an effective manner, Yeşil underlined that the inspections carried out in the Customs Directorate should be tightened more. Stating that businesses are punished for no crime, Yeşil emphasized that the decision taken will affect the studies of the European Green Consensus negatively. Kağan Yeşil said, “While Europe attaches importance to this issue, the step taken will take the sector back and cause serious damages. It will lead to the closure of companies investing in the sector. "This decision should be reconsidered quickly," he said.


Fatih Dursun, TOBB Waste and Recycling Sector Council Member and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Safe Recycling Company, reminded that, in line with the request of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, the import of mixed scrap plastic was banned first, and then the import of Ethylene Polymer waste was banned as of May 18, 2021. Stating that the plastic recycling sector, which has become a market of 2020 billion TL by the end of 10, suffers greatly, Dursun said, “Waste is not garbage, on the contrary, it is a material that creates economy and recycling of waste is not a burden to the environment. Today, while 1 KW of electrical energy is saved per hour by recycling 5775 ton of plastic, we are doing everything we can to complete the plastic recycling. We are killing the industry altogether. While facilities that invest very large budgets especially on the recycling of plastic wastes in the mixed group have great problems in reaching raw materials since the beginning of 2021, the prohibition of imports of Ethylene Polymers, which is a place of use in every part of our lives today, will cause many companies in the sector to shut down completely. " used the expressions.


Dursun stated that the ban on the import of Mixed Plastics confronted many enterprises that invested in advanced technological recycling facilities of 5 million TL within a period of 200 months, and said, “With the new Communiqué published in the Official Gazette, it is aimed to sink the recycling sector. At a time when almost all brands of the world announced their commitments to use recycled raw materials and forced their suppliers in this direction, will preventing the import of these wastes that we cannot procure from local sources will not weaken the competitiveness of our industry? Let's not forget, the solution is not with prohibitions; is achieved through measures, regulations and controls. Why don't we open Specialized Customs to solve problems with waste imports? Why do not we inspect imported waste plastics at Customs? On behalf of myself and all sector employees, I strongly request from our Minister of Environment and Urbanization, Minister of Trade and President of the Republic to review the regulation on the prohibition of the import of "Ethylene Polymers", which entered into force after being published in the Official Gazette dated May 18, 2021. " said.


Stating that serious investments have been made in areas where prohibitions have been implemented, BURKASAN Company Chairman Vedat Kılıç said, “We established our facility with an investment of 100 million TL during the pandemic period. There are at least 15 other companies that are newly investing in this field like us. In addition, there are nearly 10 facilities during the installation phase. Prohibitions turn our investments into an idle state. The perception that Turkey is importing garbage is wrong. The wastes subject to this import are materials that are transformed into raw materials by polymer separation. A mandatory process has been entered into using recycled raw materials within the framework of the circular economy. Turkey's textile-related raw material buyers stipulate their suppliers in Turkey to use recycled raw materials. Not using recycled raw materials will result in new taxes and sanctions. " he spoke.


Stating that Turkey supplies nearly 90 percent of the raw material through imports since it does not own oil, Kılıç continued his speech as follows; “While the produce, use and throw method used in the linear economy caused the depletion of resources, it also brought the need for raw materials to an important point. That's why the world's leading brands have adopted the concept of produce, consume, recycle and reuse. This development process turned waste, which is a recycling process, into a strategic product. As a result of the prohibitions, we will have abandoned a large market that emerged in this area. Turkey's recycling cost is very advantageous due to cheap production. With these prohibitions, we lose our dominance in the market. We give this market to EU countries with our own hands. In return, the domestic industry's need for raw materials continues. With these prohibitions, we will import original raw materials by paying 200 dollars instead of the waste that we do not import for 2000 dollars. This will create inflation in many materials in Turkey. In this sense, the waste import circular should be arranged very quickly and subject to special permission. "


Environmental Engineer İsmail Turhan, owner of Turhan Recycling Company, stated that the recycling sector contributed to employment without interrupting its production during the pandemic period, and said, “The entry cost of petroleum based raw materials to our country is very high. We can produce the same products recycled at much lower costs. With these prohibitions, there will be a rapid increase in costs due to the intense demand in the domestic market in waste supply. This situation will adversely affect all sectors that use recycled raw materials, ”he said.

Stating that they can import up to 50 percent of their production capacity with the import ban, Turhan said, “Polyethylene is the most used raw material. With these prohibitions, our competitive power is also decreasing. In the short term, the process will be carried out in a healthier way by lifting this ban and improving the control mechanisms of the institutions. " He spoke in the form.

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