Ankara, EU Commission meet to discuss ‘waste’

The European Commission and the Turkish trade and environment ministries have discussed the EU's Waste Shipment Regulation draft in Brussels, with Ankara demanding the end of waste shipment from Europe to Türkiye.

The Turkish delegation emphasized that the prevention of illegal waste shipment and its damage to the environment is a "shared goal."

Though these wastes used as raw materials in the industry are "important in line with the targets of certain sectors," Türkiye, the largest destination for waste exported from the EU, doesn't want to receive anymore, ministry officials said.

The inspections to be brought within the scope of EU legislation is expected to mean additional burden and cost for the operators in Türkiye as the waste shipment between EU countries and commercial stakeholders will only be made by the facilities that have passed the inspection.

During the bilateral meetings, EU officials pointed out that the aim of the draft is not to restrict trade but to protect the environment, and the importance of cooperating with Türkiye on the regulation, which is an important part of the Green Deal.

The EU aims with the regulation to prevent illegal waste exports, which reach an annual volume of 9.5 billion euros, as waste exports to OECD countries, including Türkiye, and how these wastes are managed will be closely monitored.

According to the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat), exports of waste from the EU to non-EU countries reached 33 million tons in 2021, an increase of 77 percent since 2004, while imports of waste from non-EU countries increased by 11 percent since 2004, amounting to 19.7 million tons in 2021.

EU countries started shifting their waste exports to Türkiye in 2017, after...

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