On 26 June 2021, Turkey's Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation published the new Packaging Waste Management Regulation in the Official Gazette.
The Regulation determines the strategies, policies and organisational, financial and technical procedures and principles related to:
- the production and market placement of packages with certain standards, conditions and qualifications;
- responsibilities and liabilities of economic businesses;
- prevention of packaging waste production and reduction of the disposal amount for reusing, recycling and recovering where prevention of packaging waste production is not possible;
- management of packaging wastes within a significant management system including a deposit management system and a zero waste management system;
- implementation of a deposit management system; and
- activities of the Turkish Environmental Agency regarding packaging waste management.
The main objective of the Regulation is to protect and improve the environment in a sustainable manner.
The scope of the Regulation includes all of the packages and the packaging wastes released in the market. Packages not released to market and the wastes of items and materials not considered packages do not fall within the scope of the Regulation. The Regulation defines a “package” as all products within the framework determined with the criteria set forth in the Annex-1 of the Regulation, including products made of any substance used for carrying, protecting, storing and selling merchandise during the delivering of the merchandise from the producer to the consumer/user.
The Regulation identifies “economic businesses” as package producers and persons who release packages to market and suppliers. While “package producer” is any person who produces or imports packages and “suppliers” are persons who do not produce packages but supply packages to market releasers and are the contract manufacturers of market releasers, the term “market releaser” refers to any person who packs or fills a product with packages within the scope of the Regulation, regardless of the method of releasing to the market, including electronic distance contracts and deliveries. If the producer or filler is not directly supplied or released to market, the market releaser is the person who uses its name or trademark on the package, and if the producer is abroad, the releaser is the representative or the importer authorised by the producer.
The Regulation ensures the protection and efficient use of natural resources and production activities and reduces packaging waste management production in compliance with sustainable environmental and development principles.
The Regulation aims to ensure the collection of packaging wastes within the scope of the zero waste management system in line with the provisions of the “Zero Waste Regulation”.
Persons and legal entities who are responsible for the management of packaging wastes will be liable to implement the necessary measures for reducing the harmful effects of such wastes on the environment and human health. Additionally, such persons and legal entities will have joint liability for expenses for the indemnification of environmental damage caused by the management of packaging wastes.
“Polluter Pays Principle” and “Extended Producer Liability”
Implementation of the concepts of the “Polluter Pays Principle” (PPP) and the “Extended Producer Liability” (EPL) are considered essential for achieving the national strategies and policies regarding the management of packaging wastes. The division of responsibility among package producers, releasers, suppliers and other stakeholders will be vital within the scope of the EPL.
In this respect, package producers and releasers will be obliged to, among other responsibilities, fulfill the requirements determined by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation, including conducting training and contributing to the EPL's activities.
Deposit Management System
The Turkish Environmental Agency will determine the principles and procedures related to the deposit management system, which is the acceptance of the return of certain products determined by the Ministry that were released to the market with a certain deposit value. The deposit value is repaid upon return.
All parties within the scope of the deposit management system, including those who are involved in the system in accordance with the authorisation obtained from the Agency, will be liable for a certain type and amount of security.
The implementation of mandatory deposit management will begin on 1 January 2022 for glass, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and aluminum packages of drinks. Products included within the scope of mandatory deposit management system will not be released to the market without the prior approval of the Agency. The Agency will determine the procedure for obtaining its approval for products subjected to the mandatory deposit management system.
Recycling and recovering targets
The Regulation identifies certain targets for recycling and recovering in general and for certain types of products. The recycling and recoverin goals regardless of the product type are as follows:
The Regulation aims to accomplish following targets for annual recycling rates based on material type:
In addition to the Regulation's other provisions related to the plastic bag and deposit prices, information on the Packaging Commission, notifications made by package producers, releasers, etc., the Regulation includes several transitional provisions related to the revocation of the previous Packaging Waste Management Regulation.
The recycling and recovery goals of releasers and authorised entities in accordance with the Previous Regulation will be fulfilled according to the procedure and principles to be announced by the Ministry.
The deposit management system mechanisms, which were approved in accordance with the procedures and principles determined by the Ministry, will be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation until the Agency publishes further procedures and principles.