Books for bottles to fight plastic waste

First lady Emine Erdoğan

A pilot project launched as part of the zero waste campaign of first lady Emine Erdoğan encourages children to collect plastic bottles in exchange for books. It started yesterday in Safranbolu, a historic town in northern Turkey's Karabük province. At a primary school, students who collected plastic bottles and deposited them in waste bins at the school were awarded books by the local governorate and education authority.

Safranbolu Governor Fatih Ürkmezer said they placed waste bins for the separate disposal of plastic, paper and other materials in all the schools in the town and collected more than 50,000 plastic bottles in a short period of time.

The zero waste campaign launched by Erdoğan in 2017 under the auspices of the Turkish presidency has gathered a lot of momentum with nationwide support. Thanks to the campaign, Turkey started to rediscover its potential to be a more eco-friendly country, despite heavy industrialization in recent years.

The ensuing recycling drive saw zero waste collection areas set up in more places, including shopping malls, businesses, schools, hotels and airports. The drive also saved more than 30 million trees between 2017 and 2018 by recycling more than 1.7 million tons of paper waste and cardboard.

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