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'Turkey's regulation aims to stem waste, not recycle'

– Over 26,000 institutions, more than 2 million people across Turkey were educated on zero waste, says expert

By Burak Bir

ANKARA (AA) – The main goal of Turkey's Zero Waste regulation is to prevent waste, rather than waste recycling, said an expert on environment.

"Over 26,000 institutions and more than 2 million people across Turkey have been educated on zero waste," Sule Bektas, an expert at the Zero Waste Management Department of Turkey's Environment and Urbanization Ministry, told at Zero Waste regulation meeting in the capital Ankara.

Speaking on the goals of the regulation, she said: "By this, it is intended to re-use waste by recycling, but the main goal with zero waste is not to increase recycling in the society, but to prevent and reduce the amount of waste."

Mentioning the three steps, preventing/decreasing waste, re-use and recycling which construct the "zero waste", Bektas said that long-term products should be designed, the content of hazardous substances in waste should be reduced and the product should not be composed of substances harmful to environment and human health.

"Although the zero waste has been the issue for the last 30 years around the world, it is much more discussed recently as waste has become a major problem for the whole world as well as Turkey," she said.

Saying that linear economy model is responsible for the current waste problem, Bektas highlighted that resource is produced, distributed, consumed and disposed, which becomes burden and management of it leads to high cost.

"[…] whole world has problem with this model, resource need, prices, climate change and environmental pollution have increased," she said.

Turkey’s Zero Waste Management System regulation, which was published on June 12 in the Official Gazette, aims to reduce the volume of non-recyclable waste as well as hold public institutions, organizations, and provincial governorates with population of more than 250,000 responsible for waste management by 2020.

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