Campaigners have welcomed moves by Turkey to ban imports of plastic waste after it emerged UK rubbish was being dumped in the country.
The Turkish trade ministry has added ethylene polymer plastics – which includes plastic film and bags and containers for shampoos and detergents – to its list of waste materials that are illegal to import.
The move comes in the wake of a report from Greenpeace which highlighted how UK plastic has been found dumped and burned across southern Turkey.
The campaign group said investigators documented piles of plastic waste dumped illegally by the roadside, in fields or spilling into waterways and floating downstream in 10 sites dotted around the Adana province.
Greenpeace said plastic from the UK was found at all of these sites, with evidence of packaging and plastic bags from top UK supermarkets and retailers.
The environmental group created an amazing video that has been viewed millions of times.
They Tweeted: “What’s the UK government’s plastic policy? Dump it on other countries! Less than 10% of our plastic recycling is actually recycled in the UK. The rest is sent overseas where it’s often burned or dumped, fuelling health and wildlife emergencies.”
What’s the UK government’s plastic policy? Dump it on other countries! Less than 10% of our plastic recycling is actually recycled in the UK.— Greenpeace UK (@GreenpeaceUK) May 17, 2021
The rest is sent overseas where it’s often burned or dumped, fuelling health and wildlife emergencies.
RT to expose. #Wasteminster 1/5 pic.twitter.com/Jx1IzpRipE
Plastic isn’t just a problem for wildlife and our oceans, it’s a problem for people too. Local communities near where UK plastic is dumped and burned are developing serious health issues. This isn’t building back better, this is more rich countries exploiting poorer ones. 2/5— Greenpeace UK (@GreenpeaceUK) May 17, 2021
According to the UN, plastic waste kills up to 1 million seabirds, 100,000 sea mammals, marine turtles and countless fish each year. As the 2nd biggest producer of plastic per person in the world, the UK must take real steps to cut plastic production. 3/5— Greenpeace UK (@GreenpeaceUK) May 17, 2021
This fantastic video from @GreenpeaceUK hits the nail on the head. We urgently need Government action to address the plastic crisis, that has only been made worse by Covid. #WarOnPlastic #Plastic #PlasticWaste https://t.co/PL7tMebs95— Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (@HughFW) May 18, 2021
This could well be the best video I’ve ever seen tackling this issue. Incredibly powerful. https://t.co/KjUszZYmbn— Adil Ray OBE 💙 (@adilray) May 18, 2021
This is mind blowing. pic.twitter.com/XWCHnZ3nDT— Jolyon Rubinstein (@JolyonRubs) May 19, 2021