Turkey chooses the sea to dump waste created from municipalities, big cities, and even waste imported from European countries. Over the years, this habit of sea dumping grew and now it is creating new types of environmental problems in the country. One such incident happened recently called sea snot.
Sea snot happens when algae on the marine surface is overloaded with nutrients due to water pollution and the effects of climate change. The nutrient overloading occurs as the algae feast on warm weather caused due to the growing temperatures caused by global warming.
Recent decision of China to ban importing waste caused global chaos. Since 1992, Chinese are responsible for dealing with 45 percent or global waste. Once it stopped taking, waste went to southeast Asian countries at first but later Turkey came out as a new country to replace China.
Once Turkey emerged as a new destination to dumb waste, European countries who were finding new place after China started their export. In 2020, 11.4 million tons of European waste reached Turkey. Growing export of waste puts Turkey at a serious risk and local population are starting to show their dissent against Erdogan’s waste management plan.
Growing pressure from local communities put the government in confusion on its plan of waste dumping. In a public meeting, Environmental Minister Murat Kurum said that the government is planning to bring a new law to prevent heavy waste imports from other countries.
Though waste import is leading to serious environmental issues in the country, plastic imported is important for the economy. Turkey imported nearly 6,00,000 tons of plastic waste in 2019 as the country has 85 percent dependence on imported plastic.
In an investigation conducted by popular NGO Greenpeace it found out that Turkey’s plastic imported is not recycled well and often ends up in the sea. Greenpeace examined 10 cities around southern Turkey as part of this investigation.
The report is called Trashed, it found that plastic packaging from many of these cities like Asda, Co-op, Aldi, etc is dumped in the sea, left in bags or burned. They even found plastic from retailers such as Debenhams, Spar, Poundland.