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Turkish manufacturers evaluate restriction on shopping bags

  • 05/04/2017 (03:48)
Early opinions emerged about the possible restriction to be applied on the usage of shopping bags in Turkey as of the beginning of 2018. The law, which is in the draft state for now, will be applied by charging extra for each bag to be used in an attempt to reduce the usage of plastic bags within the scope of the waste legislation performed by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization. Several manufacturers evaluated the possible impacts of this law on the sector.

In an immediate response to this decision, Turkish Plastics Industry Foundation (PAGEV) said that the new decision might result in a lower capacity utilization and reduced employment. Some bankruptcies may even emerge, claimed some sector representatives.

Turkish Plastics Industrialists’ Association (PAGDER) also highlighted that this is not a ban but a draft legislation that aims to take precautions for the reduction of the usage of plastic shopping bags produced within specific micron thickness.

On the side of Turkish manufacturers, this news, however, does not appear to have created a serious concern so far. Although they generally concur that the market may face a difficulty in adapting to the new situation initially, they do not think that it will cause a major slump in consumption.

A packaging maker in Istanbul commented, “This restriction may have an impact on HDPE film demand particularly after the first 6 to 9 months after the decision takes effect.”

Others, nevertheless, mostly think that this decision will not negatively affect the market considering that the only replacement for shopping bags will be paper bags, which are considered less practical and more costly. “Consumers will eventually get accustomed to the new regulation and restrict their usage by being charged extra,” said a converter in Gaziantep.

Some manufacturers in Istanbul and Adana also commented, “There were new investments planned for the manufacturing of shopping bags in Turkey. This news is highly likely to cancel these plans, which is good as competition has already been fierce and margins have already been so narrow in this sector. They are likely to shift their investment plans to other applications.”

Turkish manufacturers also agree that demand for recycled products will jump following this decision. The demand for bio-degradable products will also increase in the production of shopping bags and some stimulus plans for its usage may be conducted, some opined. Exports of shopping bags may also rise following the implementation of this decision as converters are likely to seek alternative destinations to compensate their lost market share in the local market.
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