Turkey’s plastic waste import number raised highly in the recent years. We want to have a look at the researches done by Turkish Plastic Industry Foundation (PAGEV) to understand deeply this topic. According to the report ‘Plastic Packaging in Turkey’ published by PAGEV in 2016, the %37 of the packaging was produced from plastics in Turkey. According to the report, the most commonly used materials other than plastic in packaging production are disposable paper packaging material, glass and cardboard. Plastic packaging has the highest share in import and export of packaging with 70 and 47 percent.
Yavuz Eroglu, the president of PAGEV, underlines that approximately 80 percent of the raw material used in the production of bags is imported. The raw materials of the plastic bags that we buy from the markets are “polyethylene” and “polypropylene” types produced from plastic resin (Low density polyethylene: LDPE or very dense polyethylene: HDPE). The reason for choosing these two items is the low cost.
According to information contained in the S & P Global plastics industry in Turkey, heavily influenced by economic developments in 2018 and according to data from Turkstat in December 2018 the import of all polyethylene varieties were reduced on the basis of both months and years. In other words, it can be said that plastic bag manufacturers already started to import less before the ‘plastic bag’ law.
According to the evaluation of top 500 ISO ranking plastic and rubber producers report published by Turkish Plastic Industry Federation in 2017, According to January-April 2018 data, the import amount of ethylene polymers increased by 5 percent compared to the previous year. The increase in the export amount of ethylene polymers is 29.7 percent.
Imports of polyethylene products are compared between December 2017 and December 2018 at ICIS. According to this comparison because of rising prices, Turkey’s imports of polyethylene decreased. In the recent years Turkey bought polyethylene mostly from ” Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and Iran”.
According to the data of PAGDER, during the five years between 2010 and 2015, the production of domestic plastic raw materials met only 15 percent of the need. This ratio was reached by the calculation of polyethylene (used in the production of plastic bags), polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, polyamide raw materials which are produced in Turkey. According to the report the ratio of external dependence on polyethylene was %77,8 in 2015.
According to the Turkey Polyethylene report of Petkim (Petrochemical Holding Co.) -the only facility capable of producing polyethylene in Turkey-, it is observed that Turkey’s last 5 years’ polyethylene production decreases average %1,6 annually, the import number raised %5, export number decreased %17,9 and domestic consumption increased average %4,5 yearly. It can be said that Turkey is already dependent to external sources for polyethylene raw material.
In the Polyethylene Report , the top 10 countries ranked from which Turkey imports polyethylene. According to the report, Turkey had imported the most polyethylene from Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Iran, Singapore and Spain.