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Nearly half of Europe’s waste exports made to Turkey, show Eurostat figures – Bianet English

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« According to data from the Statistical Office of the European Union, exports of waste from the EU to non-EU countries reached 33.0 million tonnes in 2021 and Turkey is the largest destination for waste exported from the EU, with a volume of around 14.7 million tonnes » reports Bianet English.

The Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat) announced the data on waste exported by EU countries to non-EU in 2021 yesterday (25 May).

Accordingly, exports of waste from the EU to non-EU countries reached 33 million tonnes in 2021, an increase of 77% since 2004.

On the other hand, imports of waste from non-EU countries increased by 11% since 2004, amounting to 19.7 million tonnes in 2021.

Out of 33 million tonnes of waste,14,7 million were exported to Turkey

According to Eurostat data, Turkey became the largest destination for waste exported from the EU, with a volume of around 14,7 million tonnes in 2021.

This figure is more than three times as much as in 2004 and almost half of the total exports of waste of the EU last year.

CLICK – Turkey is once again the biggest importer of plastic waste from Europe

The second-largest county following Turkey was India, which received almost 2,4 million tonnes of waste from the EU in 2021, followed by Egypt (1,9 Million tonnes), Switzerland (1,7 million tonnes), United Kingdom (1,5 million tonnes), Norway (1,4 million tonnes), Pakistan (1,3 million tonnes), Indonesia (1,1 million tonnes), United States (0,9 million tonnes) and Morocco (0,6 million tonnes).

Eurostat data also revealed that in recent years, Pakistan has markedly grown as a destination for EU waste, with volumes increasing from 0,1 million tonnes in 2004 to 1,3 million tonnes in 2021. In sharp contrast, EU exports of waste to China have fallen from a peak of 10,1 million tonnes in 2009 to 0,4 million tonnes in 2021.

Exports of ferrous metals waste (iron and steel) amounted to 19,5 million tonnes in 2021 and the main destination was Turkey again which received 13,1 million tonnes, around two-thirds (67%) of all ferrous metal waste exported from the EU.

The second-largest material group was paper waste with 4,4 million tons. India was the major destination of paper waste, receiving 1,2 million tonnes.

Turkey’s plastic waste imports

Turkey’s plastic waste imports rapidly increased after early 2018, when China imposed bans on waste imports. In 2019 and 2020, Turkey was the largest importer of Europe’s plastic waste.

According to Eurostat and UK Office for National Statistics figures compiled by Greenpeace;

Turkey imported 659,960 tons of plastic waste from the EU countries and the UK in 2020, up by 13 percent from the previous year. Some 241 truckloads of plastic waste came to Turkey from those countries every day.

• In 2019, Turkey imported 582,296 tons of plastic waste from the EU countries and the UK.

• Twenty-eight percent of Europe’s plastic waste exports were to Turkey in 2020.

• Turkey’s plastic waste imports increased by 196 times between 2004 and 2020.

• In 2020, the top five countries that sent the most plastic waste to Turkey were the UK (209,642 tons), Belgium (137,071 tons), Germany (136,083 tons), the Netherlands (49,496 tons) and Slovenia (24,884 tons).

Bianet English, May 26, 2022, Photo/Antoine GIRET/Unsplash

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