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Paper production capacity boost ‘on the way’ in Turkey – crisis or no crisis

Turkish imports of recovered paper will ‘easily’ reach two million tonnes within the next three year, says Ercan Yürekli, vice president of Turkish waste recycling industry body Tüdam. ‘We’re gonna need more and more of your materials,’ he told the Recovered Paper conference in Dusseldorf, Germany.

In 2018, Turkey imported 725 000 tonnes of recovered paper, 140% up from the 300 000 tonnes in 2015. Yürekli points out that Turkey’s annual paper production capacity is 3.8 million tonnes of which only 55% of is currently being used. ‘My country is in the middle of an economic crisis which has had a dramatic impact on paper and packaging consumption,’ he explains.

1.5 million tonnes extra

Despite the economic backdrop, the country is seeing major investments in new paper recycling and production capacity. One example is a 150 000 tonnes per year capacity paper mill being constructed on the Asian side of Istanbul and due to be operational later this year. ‘This is only one project and 1.5 million tonnes of extra capacity is currently on the way,’ says Yürekli. ‘Some six million tonnes’ capacity will be reached by 2023.’

Most Turkish paper mills can be found along the country’s western coast, with the main concentrations around Istanbul and Izmir.

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