Recycling sector representatives operating in Aksaray visited ATSO President Cüneyt Göktaş in his office and expressed the problems they experienced in their sector.
The inclusion of plastic packaging type wastes in the Ethylene polymer group, which is used in the production of single-use plastics, within the scope of the plastic waste import ban by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, has caused confusion. The recycling industry wants the polyethylene scrap import ban to be lifted.
As of January 1, 2021, mixed scrap plastic imports and as of 18 May 2021, ethylene polymer waste imports were prohibited. The Communiqué of the Ministry of Commerce was published in the Official Gazette.
Cüneyt Göktaş, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ATSO, made a statement on the subject and said, “Ethylene polymer imports in the sector have a 50 percent share in the total inputs, and the plastics recycling sector makes significant contributions to the economy. Plastic raw material production in Turkey can only meet 20 percent of the need.
The wheels in the sector will come to a standstill, and even if the plants can continue production for a short time with the existing stocks, the personnel working in these enterprises will face the threat of unemployment. With the current import bans, the industry's capacity utilization rate, which is in the 80-85 percent band, will inevitably fall to the 30 percent band, and eventually, many facilities will either move abroad or lock their doors.
Banning the import of plastic scrap will adversely affect the recycling sector, and prohibiting the import of polyethylene scrap, which is the most intensively processed plastic scrap in the country, will cause the investments made with the incentives of the public for years to become idle. The fact that the 1-year Waste Import certificates that our recycling companies received from the ministry at the beginning of each year became invalid with this regulation left the sector in a difficult situation. After the import ban decision, businesses will experience great grievances and the workers in the sector will face the danger of being unemployed.