Bottles deposit return scheme gets green light in Turkey
ANTALYA – Demirören News Agency
All drinks containers in Turkey will be covered by a deposit return scheme by 2023, Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum has announced.
The forthcoming scheme is intended to cut litter pollution in land and sea by returning a small cash sum to consumers who return their bottles.
The move will curb the millions of plastic bottles a day that go unrecycled. The government has already taken action to decrease plastic bag use by having supermarkets charge 0.25 for each bag.
Their “Zero Waste” project is now further extending to bottles.
“The project of ‘Zero Waste,’ which was realized by first lady Emine Erdoğan, will be realized by all of our public institutions and our private sector until 2023. In 2023, the ‘Zero Waste’ project will bring a saving of 20 billion Turkish Liras and it will provide jobs for at least 100,000 of our citizens. The fight against plastic bags will continue in a determined manner. We’ll reduce the waste problem in our cities to a minimum. And we will shift to a deposit return scheme for all drinks containers until 2023,” Kurum said at a meeting in the southern province of Antalya on Jan. 20.
A deposit return scheme for plastic and can bottles has already been launched in Istanbul’s metro stations, with the İTÜ-Ayazağa metro station to become the first station to receive a newly launched vending machine. The project is expected to spread to other metro stations in the city soon.
The city transportation pass, known as Istanbul Card (Istanbul Kart), can be topped up by simply depositing a plastic bottle or aluminum beverage can into the machine.
When a passerby inserts an empty plastic bottle, the machine’s sensor scans it to assess the size of the plastic: A 0.33 liter bottle will return 2 kuruş (one Turkish Lira is equal to 100 kuruş), a 0.5 liter bottle will return 3 kuruş, a 1 liter bottle will return 6 kuruş and a 1.5 liter bottle will return 9 kuruş.
As for aluminum beverage cans, the machine will return 7 kuruş for a 0.33 liter can and 9 kuruş for a 0.5 liter can.
Since one fare costs 2.60 liras, one needs to deposit at least 28 plastic 1.5 liter bottles or 0.5 liter aluminum cans in the machine in order to earn the price for a full fare.