Türkiye's success with zero waste initiative has attracted international attention: First lady

'We are ready to share (our experience) with every country and want to turn zero waste into a global movement,' says Emine Erdogan

2022-09-20 10:14:19


Türkiye's success with its zero waste initiative has attracted "immense attention" internationally, first lady Emine Erdogan said Monday.

"To date, we have received many international requests to share our experience on zero waste. Our success in this matter attracts immense attention from the international community," said Erdogan.

She was speaking at an event at the Turkevi Center in New York City that highlighted the importance of zero waste in fighting the climate crisis.

"We are ready to share (our experience) with every country and want to turn zero waste into a global movement," said the Turkish first lady, who launched the "Zero Waste" project in 2017 to highlight climate change and pollution.

During her remarks at the event, which was attended by senior UN officials, Erdogan urged the participants to raise awareness about zero waste.

She said Türkiye engages in the work of the UN Environment Program and Habitat and is proud to be part of the solutions devised for environmental problems.

Erdogan said climate change is one of the biggest crises for humanity and called for the signing of the "Zero Waste Declaration of Intent.”

The first lady said she had a "very productive meeting" with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres earlier in the day, and he closely monitors and supports Türkiye's Zero Waste project.

"I wholeheartedly believe that the Zero Waste Declaration of Intention we signed will be a new beginning in the world," said Erdogan.

Erdogan said she believed that the signed agreement would serve the purposes of the Paris Agreement and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Zero Waste Project

The first lady also touched on the achievement of the 2017 initiative, saying Türkiye has processed nearly 33.8 million tons of recyclable waste since then.

Erdogan said Türkiye also implemented the project on seas in 2019 and has disposed of 154,000 tons of marine litter in the last three years.

"President (Recep Tayyip Erdogan) announced our target of 2053 net zero emissions to the whole world. As part of this vision, we've initiated a major transformation required by the Green Development Revolution," she added.

Erdogan thanked Under-Secretary-General of the UN and Executive Director of the UN Environment Program (UNEP) Inger Andersen, Maimunah Sharif, the UN-Habitat executive director, and Special Adviser to UN Secretary-General on Climate Action Selwin Hart for their support of the Zero Waste Project.

Sharif thanked Erdogan for her strong leadership support for the Zero Waste Project, saying people should reduce use of plastic, paper and glass so that the project achieves its goals.

Andersen, for her part, highlighted the need to implement sustainable waste management to prevent millions of tons of plastic from being spilled into the oceans every year.

Later, Erdogan toured the "From Waste to Art Exhibition" held by artist Deniz Sagdic at the center.