By Justin Mays:
Because the climate changes have been alarming and the environment is in desperate need of our attention, Turkey has taken a historic step towards contributing to all the possible efforts at the global level. The Zero Waste initiative to reduce, reuse and recycle was initiated by the First Lady, Emine Erdogan in 2017. Since then she has been diligently advocating the movement and making people conscious of their consumption.
According to Aljazeera, to take the drive forward, President Recep Tayyip signed some major climate agreements and took efforts to diversify energy resources for Turkey as well as for Europe. The country’s investment in cleaner resources of energy and political efforts to bring Central Asian natural gas resources to Europe has the potential to make Turkey an energy hub.
Leading by Example
The Turkish government has very well realized the climate crisis and its impact on humanity and hence it’s taking urgent action. The idea is to keep in mind that we need to save resources for future generations instead of exploiting them. Sustainability can be achieved by using resources reasonably. By making individual aware choices we can make a huge collective impact. Both the First Lady and the President practice sustainable living practices thereby becoming role models for society.
Zero Wastage at the Airport
Istanbul takes pride in winning Turkey’s Zero Waste Certificate for its sustainable practices. Following the internationally-acclaimed environment-friendly standards, the Istanbul airport has achieved critical success. The project leader, Ulku Ozeren told Passenger Terminal Today that it was “sorting of waste” into 5 categories (paper, packaging, glass, organic and domestic) that did the magic.
The waste management infrastructure has been designed to recycle. Ozeren stated that Istanbul generates about 100 tons of waste every day out of which 30% is recycled by the recycling companies that have signed a Zero Waste Declaration
Upcoming Zero Waste Summit in Istanbul
Istanbul is all set to host the Zero Waste Summit to put emphasis on the need and importance of recycling. The summit will be followed by an award ceremony as the Turkish Zero-Waste initiative to reduce, reuse and recycle launched by the First Lady celebrates its fifth year.
Recycling Food and Textiles
As per Fibre2Fashion, more than 2,500 tonnes of clothes/fabrics and related waste from textile production go waste every day. Kerem Kinik stated that the clothes that are often thrown away will be collected by the organization. Talking to Daily Sabah, Kocaeli Metropolitan Mayor Tahir Buyukakın drew attention to the fact that around 15 million tons of clothes are discarded every year in Turkey.
The Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation will focus on the recycling of food and textile products. The Turkish Red Crescent president Kerem Kinik will also join in the recycling efforts with the First Lady to make it a nationwide campaign.
UN Adopts Turkey’s Zero Waste Model
The initiative launched by the Turkish First Lady gained global recognition as the UN General Assembly not just approved the resolution but also declared March 30 as an international day for recycling. 105 countries witnessed this historic moment at the assembly on 15th December 2022.
The Statistics of Success
- The Zero-Waste project has stemmed 3.9 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions and saved billions of dollars since 2017.
- Currently, 145,000 organisations have a zero waste management system.
- More than 530 million kilowatt hours of energy were saved (equivalent to the consumption of about 2,00,000 families).
- 572 million cubic water (nearly for the usage of 2 million families) was also saved.
- Turkish Aerospace Industries were also able to recycle 99% of the waste.
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