TURKISH PLASTICS INDUSTRY BECOMES A PERMANENT MEMBER OF EU
PAGEV and PlasticsEurope signed Istanbul Plastics Summit Declaration
Turkish plastics industry became a permanent member of the European Union before Turkey. Heads and senior managements of the European plastics foundations gathered under the roof of PlasticsEurope came together during the Istanbul Plastics Summit presided by PAGEV. By this historical declaration, challenges the Turkish and European plastics industries have to face were evaluated and forward-looking strategies were set. This declaration is expected to steer the plastics industry and make an example for other industries. Moreover, the representatives participated in the summit started Eurasia's largest plastics fair, the 25th edition of PlastEurasia.
Today, Turkish plastics industry is second in Europe and seventh in the world in terms of production capacity, increasing its effectiveness in the European Union. Turkish Plastics Industry Foundation (PAGEV), the umbrella organization of the industry, plays an active role in EU's decision-making processes along with the NGOs it is a member of. Heads and senior managements of the European plastics foundations, which are members of PlasticsEurope that incorporates Europe's largest plastics companies, came together during the ''Istanbul Plastics Summit'' hosted by PAGEV in TÜYAP Palace Hotel.
A common declaration addressing the challenges of European and Turkish plastics industryies and setting new strategies to deal with these challenges was signed at the end of the discussions that took weeks. Istanbul Plastics Declaration signed by Yavuz Eroğlu, the Chairman of the Executive Board of PAGEV, and Karl Foerster, the Executive Director of PlasticsEurope, will shape the future of plastics.
The Istanbul Plastics Declaration set the primary challenges that Turkish and European plastics industries have to face, namely accelerating the speed of growth, unemployment, growth need, high costs of energy and feed stock, inadequate qualified workforce, need for future investments, absence of a harmonized and complementary networked legislation and better enforcement of the industry's "Zero Plastics to Landfill" policy. In 2001, 59% of the plastic wastes was recovered, and 41% was landfilled. In 2005, a landfill ban was introduced in Germany for plastic waste. In 2011, only 1% of the plastic waste was landfilled, and 99% of the plastic waste was recovered. Based on this situation, industry representatives who participated in the summit took a decision to employ a ban on the landfilling of the plastic waste for all EU-member states and Turkey by 2025.
It was highlighted that more competitive energy and feed stock costs should be provided and new energy resources should be targeted in order to overcome these concerns. Harmonization of the legislation on chemicals within a "single market, single regulation" approach, better controls on the import goods penetrating the EU and Turkey, the involvement of the plastics industry in the policies on re-industrialization and circular economy initiatives, and establishing incentive policies by Turkey and the Commission to improve competitiveness of the plastics industry were included among other key strategies. It was agreed by the declaration that more weight must be given to incentives on recycling, waste management controls, social awareness campaigns on value plastic products, and training efforts to engage the young population in the plastics industry. Pioneering in the industry for prevention of plastic marine litters was decreed. Today, 70 million tons of plastic waste end up in oceans per year. 80% of this plastic waste is land-based. And the main reason behind this is the inefficient solid waste management practices. Marine litters come from unprotected and ineffective waste collection sites located in countries and cities with coasts. The plastics industry will cooperate with the Ministries of Environment in the EU states and Turkey on solid waste management –which is the main reason of the pollution– to make a solution-oriented contribution, and will increase their surface cleaning studies for the marine litters.
Head and senior managements of the European plastics foundation gather under the roof of PlasticsEurope came together during the Istanbul Plastics Summit. The Chief Project Director of the Prime Ministry Investment Support and Promotion Agency Necmettin Kaymaz gave a speech on Turkish economy and co-investment opportunities to the presidents of the foundations representing thousands of companies in Europe. Moreover, the delegation opened the second largest fair in the world and the largest fair in the Eurasia region, the PlastEurasia - 25th International Istanbul Plastic Industry Fair. This fair is organized every year by PAGEV and TÜYAP.
"Istanbul Plastics Declaration will shape the European and Turkish plastics industry"
Yavuz Eroğlu, the Chairman of the Executive Board of PAGEV, said presiding the Istanbul Plastics Summit that "Turkish plastics industry holds Europe's second (after Germany) and world's seventh largest production capacity. We may not be an EU member, but all laws and regulations in place in the European Union affect us because of the exports to the EU and the on-going harmonization process with Turkey. As a sector, it has become necessary for us to contribute to the Turkish laws and regulations and involve in this harmonization process. When our foundation became a member of the umbrella organization of European plastics companies, our industry was the seventh largest, while it is the second largest now and pushing for leadership. This is a proof of the successful progress and development of the Turkish plastics sector. We wish that Istanbul should be not only Europe's plastics production base but also Europe's decision maker, and we steadily maintain our efforts to do so. We are proud to host a meeting of great importance for the Turkish and European plastics industries via the Istanbul Plastics Summit. We signed a common declaration at the end of weeks of discussions with representatives of plastics foundations from EU states that are members of PlasticsEurope, the largest umbrella organization of the EU plastics industry. We are glad to have introduced the Istanbul Plastics Declaration –a combination of two markets constituting a gigantic global power, which will shape the future of the European and Turkish plastics industry."
The Executive Director of PlasticsEurope, the largest NGO of the European plastics industry gave information about the most recent developments and regulations regarding the plastics industry in EU in his opening speech. Foester stated that the European Commission announced the new circular economy package the other day, and added: “The circular economy package basically includes ideas regarding a better use of the current resources by the European continent which does not naturally possess them. Plastics industry keeps tabs on the discussions and preparations regarding this issue. We can say that we are mostly content with the new circular economy package announced by the European Union because it addresses the targets we fight for. It provides an approach more realistic than the previous regulations. As stated in the common declaration of the Istanbul Plastics Summit, plastics are too valuable to throw away, which is a manner that will also be practiced by the EU in the future years. As PAGEV, we cooperate with the Turkish plastics industry for our common problems in the European Parliament. The Turkish plastics industry is a really important part of the EU plastics industry, and this declaration will add a new dimension to our efforts."
Speaking at the summit, the Directorate General of Industry Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology Prof. Dr. İbrahim Kılıçarslan said "Plastics industry is one of the most important industries in Turkey", and continued his speech: "Turkey has the second biggest production capacity in Europe. We have skilled workforce in the plastics industry. But we have to gain strength at innovation and R&D. Added-value products will help us with this target. We pay particular attention to, and focus on, improving our innovability. We will support the expertise centers which are planned to be created in the plastics industry. I believe that the Istanbul Plastics Summit declaration will help strengthen relations between Turkey and Europe."
European and Turkish plastics industries - Facts...
-The plastics industry provides 1.45 million jobs in Europe. Around 62,000 companies operate in Europe. 14,000 plastics companies employ 250,000 people in Turkey.
-Plastics industry makes an annual turnover of €350 billion in Europe, while turnover of Turkish plastics industry is $34 billion.
-Most importantly, plastics industry is an irreplaceable supplier and multiplier for other industries. A research conducted in Europe shows that €100 GDP in the plastics industry generates €238 of GDP in the national economy. So plastics industry has a multiplier effect of 2.4 on the national economy.
-Same research also shows that for every job created in the plastics industry almost 3 additional jobs are created in the wider economy.