Turkey to introduce deposit return scheme to boost recycling

Turkey will introduce a deposit refund scheme to make recycling a routine practice as of Jan. 1, 2022, said the Turkish plastics industry association PAGEV. A deposit fee will be charged at the point of purchase and refunded to the purchaser when recyclable packages are returned, PAGEV head Yavuz Erdoğan told state-run Anadolu Agency on Aug. 12.

Duvar English

As of Jan. 1, 2022, Turkish customers will start paying a deposit fee on each piece of packaging, for the country to reach recycling targets.

If customers return the packages -- made up of plastic, glass, metal, aluminum and paper -- then they will get the deposit fee back.

The upcoming system has been announced by Yavuz Eroğlu, the head of PAGEV, an umbrella organization for plastics firms.

Eroğlu told state-run Anadolu Agency on Aug. 12 that if the new system functions as planned, then 1 million tons of recyclables can be saved from going waste every year.

“The deposit system will direct the customers to grocery shops or other collection points for them to get the deposit fee. The return fee can be paid as money or grocery shopping points,” he said.

The system will both protect the environment and also the economy, he said. “The deposit system will provide clean raw material for the recycling sector and thereby help the sector improve,” he said, adding that the new scheme will add an extra 1.4 billion liras to the Turkish economy.

Turkish customers use approximately 20 billion beverages bottles every year, nine million of which are plastic ones, Eroğlu said.

He said that this number corresponds to 179 beverage bottles per person every year. “In the beginning of 2030, this number [for whole Turkish population] is expected to increase to 30 billion per year, therefore the deposit system is a must for a growth model that is in line with the environment,” he said.

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