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Plastic Recycling January 07, 2019 01:30:24 PM

Turkey Establishes Fee on Single-Use Plastic Bags

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
There has been a tremendous rise in demand for string grocery bags ever since the introduction of bag fee.
Turkey Establishes Fee on Single-Use Plastic Bags

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): Turkey has introduced ban on free plastic bags effective Jan 1, 2019, in a bid to curb plastic pollution. Accordingly stores are required to charge from customers for single-use plastic bags given to them.

As per new rules, stores are required to collect 0.25 Turkish Liras for every single-use plastic bag that are distributed to consumers. The charge will not be applicable to small-sized plastic bags having thickness in the range between 15 and 50 microns. Stores will be fined at the rate of 10 liras per square meter of the property area for providing free plastic bags, in violation of the law, officials from Environment Ministry said.

Murat Kurum, Minister of Environment and Modernization stated that Turkey aims to reduce its usage of single-use plastics by 90% to as low as 40 bags per person per annum by 2025. By end-2019, it aims to reduce the number of plastic bags per person to 90. An average Turkish citizen currently uses nearly 440 bags per year. Meantime, the consumption of plastic bags by consumers has dropped drastically by nearly 50% during the first four days of the New Year, according to rough estimates.

Most of the customers have started carrying reusable fabric or paper bags for shopping. Also, grocery stores have commenced sale of cloth and recycled bags. There has been a tremendous rise in demand for string grocery bags ever since the introduction of bag fee.

On the other hand, plastic manufacturers noted that the government move would result in loss of jobs for thousands of people employed at Turkey’s plastic production industry. Also, some customers have raised protests against the bag charges.

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