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POP Around the World: Turkey 2023

By April 13, 2023December 11th, 2023No Comments

Prevented Ocean Plastic remain committed to upholding and elevating standards in the recycling industry.

Every recycler brought into the Prevented Ocean Plastic programme is required to undergo an audit with an external third party to verify whether they meet the the Prevented Ocean Plastic Standards. These unique guidelines consider practical, fit-for-business practices alongside internationally recognised ethical, social, and environmental trading requirements.

Earlier this month, members of the Prevented Ocean Plastic Research Centre travelled to Turkey to work with local Prevented Ocean Plastic representative and quality expert Elif Güray Kayaduman, and witness an audit. This was the recycler’s first such review.

The relatively new facility works with around a dozen collection centre suppliers while directly employing more than 100 people in the production of plastic flake, and processing up to 40,000 tonnes of material per year. And while the environment features all the sounds and smells And while the environment features all the sounds and smells of factory recycling, it’s a bright and high-tech space.

In the words of Prevented Ocean Plastic Sustainability Lead, Claire Sammons-Evans“The site is incredibly well put together. It’s neat, tidy, efficient, and quality-led. The individuals within the supply chain take pride in what they do, adding value to waste material.” 

And some of those standards are driven from the top down. “The site manager is incredibly proud of doing the right thing,” says Sammons-Evans. “He wants to ensure that whatever actions he takes at his facility, don’t further impact the environment.”

For this recycler, the overall aim is to be transparent, with a particular onus on health, safety, and the environment. To back this up, they have an end destination for all their waste- only working with other licensed companies to get this done- and have a state-of-the-art water treatment system processing 150 tonnes of water per hour, allowing them to recycle 90% of their water. Even the sand that the water treatment system filters out is then sold to a cement company.

Sammons-Evans, van Bommel, and Kayaduman on the ground in Turkey, March 2023.

One of the other things that makes this site stand out, is their material quality control. 

Prevented Ocean Plastic Programme Lead, Maxine van Bommel, said “Material quality is really where it starts. If the quality isn’t good enough, it cannot be used in food contact safe packaging. This particular recycler really takes things to a different level. Using high-tech machinery to quality test their material, the recycler’s aim is to produce best in class flake.”

For van Bommel the trip was also a chance to see the Prevented Ocean Plastic Standards in action. “This was an opportunity to see the value of the Standards. The strength of the social requirements shone through in particular, as well as the expertise of the auditors from the third-party Control Union who carried out the audit on our behalf.”

Sammons-Evans echoes similar feelings. “Audits naturally involve administrative tasks such as document reviews and process explanations, however witnessing the audit process with the expertise and knowledge of the auditors has allowed me to inform and continue to develop our Standards further.”

Prevented Ocean Plastic travelled to Turkey to monitor, uphold and elevate standards in the recycling industry there. Part of our mission is to make things better everywhere we operate.

Prevented Ocean Plastic is a pioneering plastic recycling company developing locally customized sorting and collection infrastructure to underserved communities across the world. We are committed to strengthening the supply chain and scaling solutions for the management of plastic waste where we work. We provide high quality traceable recycled plastic to global markets to drive environmental, social and economic value from the bottle collector to the end consumer.