Plastics Industrialists' Association (PAGDER) Chairman Selçuk Gülsün said: "It should be realized as soon as possible that the polyethylene scrap import ban, which was implemented without any impact analysis and without exchanging ideas with sector representatives, put the plastic industry in a deadlock and the said ban should be lifted."
As we have repeatedly stated before, control should increase, not prohibitions.
Emphasizing that there is an important paradigm in the global plastics industry and the share of the recycling economy in the plastics industry is rapidly increasing, Gülsün said: “By 2050, it is predicted that 60% of global plastic production will be sourced from recycling. Until today, our country has taken important steps to be a part of this great change. With the contribution of the incentives given, our industrialists have created an important processing capacity in the field of plastic recycling. Of course, a significant part of the inputs of these enterprises have to be covered by imports because the collection and separation infrastructure is not sufficient in our country and the source separation system has not been established. We also watched with regret that some people disobey the laws and dump their wastes on the roadside instead of sending them for disposal. We have repeatedly stated that the controls should be tightened in order to prevent such sad situations. Unfortunately, our public authorities have chosen to address this problem with prohibitions every time. Here again, we say that you cannot prevent these problems with prohibitions. We cannot get rid of this picture unless the state effectively carries out its auditing activities, which are one of its basic functions. When the wastes spilled on the roadside are not imported but originated domestically, won't we consider this as an environmental disaster? As we said, populist and wholesale approaches such as banning imports will not be enough to eliminate this problem. So what will be the effect of these prohibitions? As a result of the prohibitions, our export recycling facilities, which create added value for our country that does its job properly, will either be closed or moved abroad, and the process will result in the loss of another sector, which acts as an important sink for unqualified workforce and has a great future potential ”.
Same mistake made in engineering plastic scrap
Stating that he had previously made a mistake such as banning the import of engineering plastic scraps, Gülsün said: “The import of engineering plastic scraps, which are favored to import due to their use in high value-added areas such as automotive, white goods, electrical-electronics, was also prohibited. Scraps of products such as polyamide and polycarbonate are not enough in our country. Unfortunately, the relevant public institutions have not fully understood the effect of banning the import of scrap of these products. For example, the automotive industry requires the use of recycled raw materials in certain proportions in plastic parts of cars within the framework of environmental policies. Our country's stopping of engineering plastic scrap imports means that the automotive industry is also cut off from the supply chain in the medium term. For this reason, these regulations, which may have devastating effects on our country's plastic industry, should be reviewed as soon as possible and the import of engineering plastic scraps should be freed again, ”he said.
With this approach, zero waste targets would be a dream
Continuing his words, Selçuk Gülsün said: “Our country had shown a similar rapid development in the petrochemical industry before, and then stopped its investments and became a net importer. If this prohibition is not taken back and a change of approach does not occur, we will settle for a similar fate in the recycling industry. On the other hand, it is how to achieve zero waste targets after this step, which means the elimination of the recycling industry. Because, if the recycling facilities are closed, we will not have an industry to recycle the plastic waste collected in our country, and the wastes we extract in our country will be directed to solid waste storage. Regulations implemented without a comprehensive analysis and revealing the future perspective should definitely be reviewed ”.
Regulation should be withdrawn, supervision should be increased
Stating that they share the increasing environmental concerns in the public opinion, Gülsün said: “Undoubtedly, protecting the nature of our country is one of our top priorities, but the way to achieve this is through effective control. Following the production inputs such as electricity, water and labor, which we have previously shared with relevant public institutions, pre-license infrastructure adequacy analysis, control of the information of the disposal facility where other wastes are sent, and on-site detection of high-volume imports, in case of implementation of inspection measures such as detection of criminal acts in our laws "It will be realized much more easily and environmental problems will be eliminated."