Turkey limiting scrap imports – an environmental trade-off

Turkey limiting scrap imports

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On the headways to environment conservation, Turkey limiting scrap imports is one of the propitious moves by the government.

Trends and Prospects

  • As per a report from the Brussels-based Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), the Turkish Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning has indicated that Turkey limiting scrap imports to a maximum of 50 percent of the production quantity of consuming facilities, allowing them to meet the balance of their supplies from the domestic acquisitions.
  • BIR confirms that it has obtained this information from TÜDAM, a Turkish recycling group that is an affiliate of the BIR federation. This confirmation has its own side of the positive attributes to the growth of domestic sources.
  • The recycling industry and Turkey’s Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning concludes that Turkey’s quota has been 80% for paper and plastics recycling imports from December 2019. BIR’s researches showed that Turkish producers of paper, board, and plastics will now have to reconsider their preparations as per this reduction in imports.
  • Furthermore, this import quota will be reassessed in the coming decades, taking into account the domestic scrap collection rate. This transition comes as new papermaking capabilities that are being developed in Turkey in the form of extra containerboard paper machines. This reassessment will serve as a feedback and follow-up mechanism in the wake of spelled import curbs.
  • The best imports of Turkey can be classified as Refined Petroleum ($12.4B), Gold ($11.3B), Scrap-Iron ($6.47B), Vehicle Parts ($6.45B), and Cars ($6.11B).
  • The Istanbul-based recycling and trading company Yürekli Kağıt’s Ercan Yürekli said that the new capacity is “recycling-based,” waving that Turkey’s tendency to withstand scrap paper is set to increase over the next 3 years. It is quite an encouraging indication of the untapped potential of the recycling industry in the country.
  • As per data compiled by UN Comtrade, Turkey imported more than 225,000 metric tonnes of plastic scrap in the year 2018. That number seems to have risen remarkably as compared to the last year.
  • Greenpeace reported that Eurostat data explicates, concerning importing plastic scrap from Europe, Turkey was the uppermost country which is over 580,000 tonnes of the 14 million tonnes of scrap imported from EU countries in the year 2019 were plastic.


The curbs on scrap imports will not only pluck up the courage for the recycling industry on one hand but will also leave green imprints on the environment. How the government and industry will collaborate towards this trade-off will be a wait and watch the situation. Considering the fact that similar measures are also fuelling the thought processes of global leaders it can be said that such trade policies pondering import curbs for environmental sustainability cannot be at all infructuous.

Read this article also: Impact on waste paper markets due to global import-export conditions

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