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Turkey is the largest landfill for European waste

landfill garbage Turkey

It is well known that Turkey is considered valuable to the European Union because it holds millions of refugees from Syria, even if the Syrians became refugees because Turkey sponsored terrorist organisations like Al-Nusra and ISIS.

It is also known that good relations with Ankara are necessary due to the important trade and economic transactions that several EU countries have with it – mainly Germany and Italy – but also the exposure of a number of European banks to the Turkish market.

But there is something else that may not be so well known and that makes Turkey more necessary for Europeans: it exports vast amounts of European rubbish, more than any other country.

According to official Eurostat data, EU Member States exported 13.7 million tonnes of rubbish to Turkey last year – three times as much as in 2004.

It is worth noting that exports to the second largest country, India, reached only 2.9 million tonnes in 2020.

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It is worth noting that most of the rubbish exported by the EU (53% according to Eurostat) is iron ore (scrap). 

In total, the quantities that went to other countries last year were 17.4 million tonnes – with Turkey being the recipient of 11.8 million of them.

Second in line is paper waste, with the total quantity exported in 2020 reaching 6.1 million tons. 

Of these, Turkey absorbed 15%, while most went to India (26%) and Indonesia (20%).

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Based on available data, much of the imported plastics are deposited in the natural environment or incinerated, as is the case in Adana.

READ MORE: Dendias discusses Syria with UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen.

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