The first authorized organization for the recovery of packaging waste in Turkey, the ÇEVKO Foundation continues to contribute to environmental sustainability and the economy. Acting as a leader for 27 years on the way to a sustainable recovery system and helping the industry fulfill its obligations, the ÇEVKO Foundation once again created significant value in 2017 for environmental sustainability. The recovery activities of the Foundation contributed TRY 2.6 billion to the country’s economy.
Noting that as the authorized organization they were fulfilling the recovery obligations of more than 1,800 packaging users that place packaged products on the market, the Secretary General of the ÇEVKO Foundation Mete İmer said, “We build partnerships with local governments and licensed companies in order to collect packaging waste at the source on behalf of the producers and economic enterprises we represent. In addition to that, we organize communication, awareness-raising and education activities.”
Stating that it was technically and economically possible to recover all packaging waste made of glass, metal, plastic, paper-cardboard, composites and wood many times, Mete İmer added, “We have been active for 27 years in the development of the recycling system we lead. We cooperate with 162 municipalities in 30 provinces with a total population of 26 million. We undertake the recovery obligations of packaging users that have partnered with ÇEVKO. The recovery activities we carried out on behalf of the industry in cooperation with municipalities and licensed packaging waste collection, sorting and recycling companies resulted in savings of fossil fuels, water and energy. Less natural resources and energy were consumed. These recovery efforts made a positive contribution of TRY 2.6 billion to the country’s economy.”
Recovery Protected the Air We Breathe and the Forests, and Saved Water and Energy
Mete İmer summarized the economic and environmental benefits achieved with the documented recycling of packaging waste in 2017 as follows:
• The recycling of packaging waste made of paper, cardboard, wood and composites saved 4,715,000 trees, equivalent to roughly 94 thousand acres of forestland.
• 130 million liters of gas was saved thanks to the recycling of plastic packaging waste. This amount is enough to fill the fuel tanks of about 2.9 million cars.
• 7.3 billion liters of water was saved through the recovery of packaging waste made of paper-cardboard/composites, equivalent to the annual water consumption of 41,505 families.
• 2.7 billion kWh electricity was saved with recovered packaging waste, equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of almost one million (977 thousand) families.
• Thanks to the recycling of packaging waste instead of their burial in landfills, 3,645,000 m3 of landfill space was spared, equivalent to the volume of about 1,457 Olympic-size swimming pools.
• Greenhouse gas emission amounting to 339,700 tons of CO2, equivalent to the amount emitted by an airplane circumnavigating the globe 16,985 times, was prevented.
The culture of recovery and habit of separating at the source are spreading
Stressing that it was possible to create much more value for a sustainable environment if the majority of the society acquired the habit of separate collection at the source and if a culture of recycling was established, Mete İmer said, “We continue to work with the public sector, local governments, communities and industry to spread a culture of recovery and the habit of separate collection at the source. As the most established authorized organization in this field we focus on raising awareness. This includes trainings we organize for primary school teachers, and theatre plays for children. We address individuals through public service announcements, commercials and news articles. We reward exemplary practices that Green Dot member organizations implement beyond their legal obligations through our ‘Green Dot Industry Awards’. Our ‘Green Dot Press Awards’ serve to encourage media outlets that give priority to news items that are geared toward raising the awareness of and informing the society with regard to the environment and recycling. We work with all related parties, notably the members of our foundation, to expand the ‘Zero Waste’ project initiated by our Ministry of Environment and Urbanization. We organize events such as the Circular Economy Congress in 2017. Via our projects executed by both our foundation and together with our members, we will continue our efforts in order to increase individual awareness and turn this attitude into a habitual behavior.”