Turkey could reap annual environmental benefits worth ₺705 million and reduce CO2 emissions by 260,000 tonnes by introducing a deposit return system (DRS).

The Turkish Government confirmed in early 2019 that it will introduce deposits on beverage containers by 2021 as part of its zero waste initiative and efforts to protect Turkey’s 8,000km of coastline. The DRS is intended to reduce marine and terrestrial litter, as well as supporting a new ban in the country on landfilling of packaging waste.

Our report, A DRS for Turkey, which was commissioned by Reloop and ISBAK, details how a DRS would work in Turkey. The design covers how the system is set up and governed, an appropriate deposit value to support a 90% return rate, and the infrastructure required, as well as examining the implications of different scopes of beverage containers.

In addition to the technical design of the system the study also calculates the costs and benefits that the DRS would bring. The introduction of the deposit return system for Turkey would increase beverage container recycling by 253% and divert 811,000 tonnes of beverage containers from landfill each year. The net impact is a reduction of 263,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year, valued at ₺62.3 million, as well as providing improvements in air quality worth ₺57.7 million. The DRS would also reduce littering by 85%, preventing 33,000 tonnes of material entering the natural environment every year. Due to the impact of littering on personal well-being, business, tourism and sense of community, the annual litter reduction is valued as a ₺585 million benefit to Turkish society.

Orla Woods, our DRS expert, said:

“It is great to see more and more countries committed to improving beverage container recycling. Our experience has shown that well-designed DRSs are capable of achieving recycling rates in excess of 90%, as well as reducing litter and providing an economic boost. If Turkey manages to achieve this, it is likely to significantly reduce the amount of litter found in rivers and entering the marine environment. This is a key benefit of a DRS in a country whose tourism thrives on its pristine beaches. We look forward to seeing the progress Turkey makes with a DRS.”

Clarissa Morawski from Reloop, said:

“While DRS is the perfect solution to reduce litter and recycle more in Turkey, it is also important step on behalf of Turkey to mitigate climate change and improve the overall health and well-being of its citizens.”

Photo courtesy of Marco Verch, Flickr, CC BY 2.0.