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Turkey Resumes Trade That Made It Europe’s Top Trash Destination

  • Authorities ease ban on imports of plastic garbage from Europe
  • Environmentalists warn of risks to agriculture, water quality
Dumped recycling including plastic packaging from around Europe in Adana province, Turkey in 2020.
Dumped recycling including plastic packaging from around Europe in Adana province, Turkey in 2020. Photographer: Yasin Akgul/AFP/Getty Images

Turkey is reversing a short-lived ban on imports of some plastic waste, prompting environmental groups to warn of the threat posed to farmlands, air and water resources in what was Europe’s top destination for trash.

Authorities have eased restrictions only imposed in May on polyethylene, found in everyday products from grocery bags to water bottles, according to an official decree published this month after intense lobbying by industry groups.