The Zero Waste Project receives UNDP Turkey's first Global Goals Action Award

March 22, 2021

"The Zero Waste Project”, under the auspices of First Lady Emine Erdoğan, was awarded with "Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals) Action Award” the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) will give for the first time in Turkey

Ankara, 22 March 2021 - "Zero Waste Project" will receive UNDP Turkey’s "Sustainable Development Goals Action Award" due to its important contributions to the goal "Responsible Production and Consumption", one of the SDGs.

Zero Waste Project which was initiated in 2017 under the auspices of Emine Erdoğan, aims to contain waste under sustainable development principles, leaving a clean Turkey and a liveable world to future generations.

The Sustainable Development Goals Action Award, which will be given to the Zero Waste Project for the first time in Turkey for successfully meeting the goal “Responsible Consumption and Production”, will be presented to Emine Erdoğan by UNDP Turkey’s Resident Representative Claudio Tomasi, at a ceremony to be held in Ankara on March 25th.

12th of seventeen Global Goals for Sustainable Development, the goal “Responsible Consumption and Production” aims to substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse by the year 2030, among others.

For the year 2023, the centenary of the Republic of Turkey’s foundation, by operating “Zero Waste Management System” in 400,000 buildings, the Zero Waste Project targets 35 percent recovery rate, which is the proportion of waste recycled among all the recyclable materials in the waste stream.

As of 2020, Zero Waste Management System was launched in 76,000 buildings belonging to organizations and institutions. Recovery rate, which was 13 percent at the beginning of the project, reached 19 percent.

Zero Waste System is a seven-step roadmap developed by the Turkish Environment and Urban Planning Ministry, consisting of steps that companies, institutions or organizations should apply to be included in Zero Waste movement.

Between 2017 to 2020, the project helped save 397 million tons of raw material, 315 million kilowatt-hour of energy, 345 million cubic meters of water and 50 million barrels of oil. In the same period, 17 million tons of usable waste was collected, 2 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions were prevented, and 209 million trees were saved by the project.

The economic savings attained with these actions are calculated 17 billion liras (over 3 billion dollars). The project aims direct employment for 100,000 people, 20 billion liras of annual saving.

The presidential complex was the first to switch to a zero-waste scheme and it was followed by ministries. Since 2017, thousands of public buildings have joined the campaign with recycling almost all the waste they produce, from paper to food.

To better protect the seas and coasts of Turkey from the wastes, Zero Waste Blue Project was also launched in June 2019 within the same project. So far 760 leading organizations pledged to fight pollution of the seas by participating in the Zero Waste Blue project.

In 2020, Turkish government set up an Environmental Agency, which will operate under the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, to further advance the project’s works.

The agency aims at improving the environment and maintaining the Zero Waste project, launched by the ministry to collect and dispose of wastes effectively.

The agency will establish and operate waste management systems, ensuring the involvement of relevant departments and streamlining their working in line with the environmental strategies and policies formulated by the ministry.

Turkey uses about 10 million tons of glass, plastic, aluminium and metal packaging every year according to figures and plans to increase the recycling rate for packaging to 65 percent by 2026.

For more info: Faik Uyanık, Head of Communications for UNDP in Turkey -