Zero-Waste Project great success: First lady
The Zero-Waste Project has been a great success, making a large contribution to the Turkish economy, first lady Emine Erdoğan has said.
“The project has reached a point that it is beyond my dreams,” the first lady said in an interview with Anadolu Agency, noting that people from all quarters of the society are aware of the Zero-Waste initiative.
Between 2017, when the project was launched, and January 2022, 16.5 million tons of paper and cardboard, 4.1 million tons of plastic, 1.7 million tons of glass, 400,000 tons of metals and 1.5 million tons of organic and other wastes have been recycled, Erdoğan said, noting that total waste recycled amounted to 24.2 million tons over this period.
The recycling rate in Turkey was 13 percent when the Zero-Waste Project was initiated, but the rate is presently around 22.4 percent, she said. “We aim to increase the recycling rate further up to 35 percent in 2023.”
The first lady also said that plastic bag usage has declined as much as 75 percent, thanks to the regulation that requires businesses to charge consumers for plastic bags.
This also reduced the import of raw materials, which are used to produce plastic bags, and helped Turkey save up to 2.4 billion Turkish Liras and prevented the emission of 14,640 tons of greenhouse gases as well as the disposal of 354,000 tons of plastic waste,” Erdoğan added.
“We are proud of all those results. This is an investment in the future of our country and our children,” she said.
The concept of zero-waste has become part of daily life and people in Turkey know about the Zero-Waste Project, the first lady said, adding that the aim is now to widen the scope of the project to cover the entire country.
“A number of nationals have reached out to us to learn about the Zero-Waste Project and how to implement similar projects in their countries. We are holding talks with the wives of the leaders of those countries. I am open to international projects and ready to make all the contribution,” the first lady said.