June 8th has been celebrated as World Oceans Day since 1992 with the decision of the United Nations. On this date this year, Bosphorus University hosted a workshop, ‘Time for Action for Turkey’s Plastic Waste: Eco-friendly Production, Responsible Consumption, Effective Recycling.’
At the workshop attention was drawn to the fact that the Mediterranean has become one of the seas with the highest level of plastic pollution.

According to the “Escape from the Plastic Trap: Saving the Mediterranean from the Plastic Pollution Report” presented by Tolga Yücel, WWF Turkey Communications Director, 60 million tons of plastic is produced in the world, which creates 27 million tons of plastic waste. It is emphasized in the report that the amount of plastic waste in the seas is one of the most important problems awaiting global solution and this waste causes damage to the ecosystem of the seas estimated at $13 billion. It is also reported that 144 tons/day of plastic waste is dumped into the sea in Turkey.

The General Secretary of the Sustainable Development Association Konca Çalkıvık said, “A truck load of plastic waste goes into the seas every minute; every year 9 million tons of plastic waste go into the oceans. It is not possible to solve the global problem of plastic waste without local-regional cooperation.” Çalkıvık underlined the fact that trying to solve the problem with volunteers was not enough, legal regulations were also necessary.

Mete İmer, General Secretary of ÇEVKO Foundation spoke at the session and said that the issue of plastic was also included in the circular economy studies of the foundation. İmer gave information on the extended producer responsibility model and the works of ÇEVKO. İmer went on, “The future of the new plastic economy, which is a part of circular economy, lies in innovative solutions. These solutions are only possible with the collaboration of the public and the industry in the designing and recycling of plastic packagings.” The videos prepared by ÇEVKO on the recycling of plastic were shared with the participants at the same session.