Turkey preparing to launch deposit return scheme for packaging in 2022

Turkey is preparing to introduce a deposit return system for recyclable packaging waste in 2022, with the scheme forecasting a refund of 50 kuruş (half a lira) per container. Collection points at grocery shops will be ready to serve by June 2022.

Duvar English

Turkey will introduce a deposit refund scheme to make recycling a routine practice as of Jan. 1, 2022. If customers return the plastic and glass packages, then they will get the deposit fee back.

For every piece of packaging, the deposit fee is expected to be 50 kuruş (half a lira), Turkish media outlets reported on Dec. 31. The recycling cost will be included in the price of the relevant good.

Although the regulations will take effect on Jan. 1, 2022, collection points at grocery shops will be ready to serve only by June 2022.

Yavuz Eroğlu, the head of PAGEV, an umbrella organization for plastics firms, said that out of 20 billion beverages bottles used every year in Turkey, nine million are plastic ones.

He said that the new scheme will add an extra 1.4 billion liras to the Turkish economy.

“When citizens return a couple of glass bottles or packaging, they should be able to get money to buy bread. In this area, the biggest consumption belongs to the high-income segment,” he said.

If the system works as planned, Turkey will save an extra 1 million tons of recyclables from going to waste every year.

A total of 20 billion beverage bottles are used every year in Turkey, and according to estimations, this number is expected to increase to 30 billion by the beginning of the 2030s.

Turkey, with a recycling rate of just 12 percent, is the main receiver of plastic waste from Europe. Earlier this year, a Greenpeace investigation found that British recycling was left to burn or be dumped on beaches and roadsides in Turkey, which pushed the Turkish government to ban imports of most types of plastic waste.