In connection with the measures taken to protect against the spread of the coronavirus, consumers will no longer bring their own reusable bags in supermarkets, preferring a one-off packages, reports the press service of the Turkish Association of Plastics Processors (PAGEV).
“In our factories, the production of plastic bags has increased by 25% over the past month. In some product groups, it is even higher,” said PAGEV President Yavuz Eroglu.
In the early days of the pandemic, the Turkish Ministry of Commerce issued a decree on the mandatory use of plastic bags in grocery stores and bakeries.
Last year, Turkish authorities announced a series of measures to reduce the consumption of plastic bags. In accordance with them, disposable plastic bags will be charged at 0.25 Turkish liras (0.03 euros). However, now these measures can become burdensome for consumers.
“People now use plastic bags in supermarkets more and pay for it. Even if the price is low, some people may not be able to afford them. This poses a high public health risk. We contacted the ministry and asked to remove this order. Authorities now consider our proposal,"said Y. Eroglu.
Turkey is the second largest producer of plastic bags in Europe after Italy, and the third in the world. The main export market for disposable plastic bags from Turkey is Israel with a 25% share. Next come France, the UK and the USA.
It should be noted that the coronavirus pandemic has changed the consumer attitude to disposable plastic products, which are now associated not with additional pollution of the planet, but with hygiene and health protection. It is possible that the current situation will lead to a review of the restrictive measures introduced by countries for plastic packaging in recent years. The problem of the disposal of growing medical plastic waste is likely to come to the fore. Their disposal requires special certification.