Zero Waste News from Turkey

Zero Waste News from Turkey

What is Zero Waste that we constantly hear about?

Almost everyone living on our planet, which is home to more than 6 billion people, asks: " What is air pollution?" There is an answer to the question. Pollution caused by consumption habits has become a big problem. As a result of frequent mention of climate change and similar problems, the concept of zero waste has gained popularity today. Zero waste is one of the most effective methods we can use when combating elements that threaten the ecosystem and human life. This is an approach that argues that excessive waste generation should be prevented. 

Zero waste concept; It includes different requirements such as preventing excessive consumption, efficient use of resources, reducing the number of substances harmful to the environment, establishing effective management systems and recycling . In Turkey, the Ministry of Environment has been carrying out zero waste projects within the scope of sustainability principles since 2017. There is also a zero waste law that determines the procedures and principles of these practices. The news that is widely covered in the national and local press serves the mission of creating social awareness about this concept. 

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What is done in a Zero Waste Project?

The zero waste approach can be applied everywhere, starting from institutions and organizations to homes, which are the smallest unit of concern. Informative articles such as 10 Ideas for Recycling are very useful for those who want to organize their personal spaces according to the concept of zero waste . The aim of the zero waste project is to place the current system on a more regular and applicable level within the framework of this principle. A zero waste integrated environmental information system is used to monitor the obligations of businesses in this regard. In order to implement sustainable works with a professional approach, the zero waste project is implemented within the framework of a road map consisting of seven stages. 

First of all, a focal point in the organization and a work team consisting of at least two people are determined. In the next stage, current waste management is revealed. Accordingly, an institution-specific deadline plan is prepared, covering the supply period of the needs, the training calendar and the beginning of the implementation. In the following process, the installation of needs such as containers, transportation vehicles and storage areas to be used for zero waste is provided. Education and awareness activities are also carried out for target audiences . After the preparation phase, zero waste implementation is implemented in the organization. In the reporting, monitoring, precaution and revision steps, the functionality of the zero waste project is ensured. 

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What are the benefits of the Zero Waste Project to the World?

Rapid industrialization over the past hundred years has brought humanity face to face with major problems it has never encountered before, such as environmental pollution and climate crisis . The size of the huge island of garbage drifting in the Pacific Ocean today is reflected in the article “ Plastic Pollution: How Much Damage Does It Cause? ” can be understood much more easily by reading the text. Zero waste gives us the opportunity to reverse the process at this critical stage when the natural balance of the ecosystem is disrupted. Some of the benefits of zero waste practices to the world are:

  • It reduces the vital risks created by humans for the environment and living things. 
  • Cutting down of trees due to excessive consumption is prevented and the amount of greenhouse gases released into the air is reduced. 
  • Less space is polluted for the storage and disposal of garbage whose generation is minimized.
  • Using resources more efficiently and preventing waste contributes to the economy by reducing costs. 
  • The amount of extraction, refining and processing of new raw materials that create environmental pollution is reduced. 

Zero Waste News from Turkey 

Zero waste is an issue that is high on the agenda of Turkey, as well as many other countries. The practices implemented ensure that the causes of waste are identified and prevented. Separation and recycling of generated waste is also accelerated thanks to these applications. In addition to the implementation of the zero waste approach in public spaces, schools, hospitals, shopping malls and factories, it is also necessary to adopt it individually. In order to achieve this goal and create mass awareness , zero waste news published in the Turkish media undertakes an important mission. 

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Waste Brings Profit

The role of municipalities in spreading zero waste practices to the grassroots is indisputable. Headlines such as waste recycling are frequently included in the press, especially in order to raise awareness in the public sphere and encourage citizens . For example, one of the innovative applications initiated by Gaziemir Municipality is mobile waste collection centers. Paper, plastic, metal, glass, electronics, vegetable oil and battery waste are collected in units consisting of different compartments. This makes it possible to easily collect recyclable materials from homes. Informed citizens contribute to the protection of nature and the creation of economic value. 

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New Era in Zero Waste!

Zero waste news published in January 2022 provides information about current regulations to reduce plastic use within the scope of the regulation. Some of the applications that will be implemented in the coming period are:

  • Establishment of numerous waste collection centers where materials can be easily collected. 
  • Expanding food banking to prevent food waste. 
  • Installation of accumulation equipment in wholesale markets and markets to produce compost from vegetable and fruit waste. 
  • Reducing the use of products such as cups, plates, forks, spoons, straws and wet wipes.
  • Ensuring the collection and disposal of waste medicines generated at home.   
  • Delivering used textile products to those in need.
  • Preventing the use of excessive packaging in cargo transportation and distance sales.
  • Introducing the obligation of equipment for recyclable waste to detached houses. 

He Who Brings His Waste Gets Shopping Points

A very useful application has been implemented in Zeytinburnu, Turkey's first zero waste district. The mobile waste profit vehicle, which has been traveling all over Zeytinburnu since the last months of 2020, calls on the residents of the district to "bring your waste, collect your points, spend it on shopping". The mobile waste recycling vehicle, which attracted great attention , enabled the collection of 24 tons of recyclable materials in a short time. People who easily took part in the zero waste application were given 16,500 TL worth of cash points that they could use for grocery shopping. These points can also be used in suspended card and stray animal food aid campaigns.

Pandemic Effect on Zero Waste! Environmental Awareness Increased

This news, which was reflected in the press after the first year of the pandemic, draws attention to the increase in the sale of disposable products as well as the environmental awareness of the society . Research conducted during this period revealed that 74% of people preferred disposable cups, forks, knives and spoons even in restaurants and cafes due to the pandemic. Increasing consumption of packaged food disrupts zero waste efforts. In addition, the rate of those who think that waste generation accelerates climate change and increases environmental pollution has increased to 95%. Turkey aims to achieve an annual income of 20 billion dollars and 35% recovery from the green economy by 2023. 

Citizens Loved Zero Waste

This news, prepared by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization in 2018, mentions the great interest that the zero waste project has received nationally. In a 10-month period in the service building of the Ministry, 94 tons of paper, 24 tons of plastic, 5 tons of glass and 9.1 tons of various wastes, as well as 1860 liters of vegetable oil, were collected and recycled into the economy. The zero waste habit thus prevented the cutting down of 1600 trees and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 18 tons. This approach prevented the use of 384 barrels of oil and 10 tons of natural resources. In the calls made to the Alo 181 line, it was recorded that students wanted a course on this subject to be included in the curriculum. Zero waste news reveals that this approach is becoming increasingly widespread in our country. 

Contribution of 17 Billion Liras to the Economy in 3 Years with Zero Waste Project

Through the zero waste news published in the first months of 2021, the income generated by the project at the end of three years was announced. It was stated that 17 million tons of recyclable waste was collected and 17 billion lira was contributed to the economy. It is predicted that domestic waste in Turkey will reach 38 million tons in 2023. It is important to evaluate these wastes, most of which can be recycled and turned into raw materials. For this purpose, zero waste practices are planned to be gradually spread throughout the country by 2023. The Ministry aims to have a recycling rate of 35% in 2023. Raising public awareness through zero waste news will make this process much easier.

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