The domestic production of basic plastic raw materials resulted in a strong plastic processing industry in Turkey. At present, there are about 5,000 plastics processing companies which are mainly small and medium scaled. The plastic processing sector follows the latest developments in the plastic processing industry and manufactures all types of plastic products ranging from traditional to the latest developed plastic products, such as plastic construction and irrigation products, plastic auto parts, plastic table and kitchenware, all plastic parts of electrical and household items, all kinds of plastic packaging products and most composite, plastic parts , plastic moulding and plastic injection machine.
The Turkish plastic processing industry owes its success to its comparatively recent foundation. Accordingly, this relatively young sector uses the latest technology, developments and designs. As a result, Turkey has the biggest plastic processing capacity in Eurasia. In Turkey, thermoplastics comprise 90% of plastic raw materials. Domestic production is realized by PETKIM (Petrochemical Holding Corporation) which provides approximately 30% of this demand. The complex of Izmir Aliaga within the organization of PETKIM and the complex of Kocaeli Yarimca sold to TUPRAS (Turkish Petroleum Refineries Corporation) produce basic plastic raw materials such as polyethylene (PE), polystyrene (PS), polyprophylen (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and chemical raw materials such as ethylene glycol, phthalic anhydride, terephthalic acid, carbon black. In addition to production, recycled plastics meet nearly 10% of the total demand in Turkey.
The Turkish plastic sector today has reached world standards as far as raw materials, semifinished and finished products are concerned. Most of the finished plastic products comply with the related Turkish standards (TSE), International standards (ISO) and with the standards set by the EU. Companies producing plastic building materials affix the “CE Mark” under the “New Approach” Directives since the obligation to affix the “CE Mark” started in the Turkish domestic market in 2002.
Exports of the Turkish plastics industry had an increasing trend until the recent 2009 economic crisis. Before the crisis, the remarkably high increase in the export value was undoubtedly achieved due to the recent modernization and technological improvements realized in the sector.
The main plastic products exported are plates, sheets, films, foils and strip, of plastics, plastic packaging products; textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics; plastic furniture, flexible intermediate bulk containers; sacks and bags made of polyethylene or polypropylene strips and bags made of ethylene polymers; tubes, pipes and hoses, and fittings, of plastics; plastic footwear; plastic table and kitchenware. Some plastic products are exported directly as finished items or indirectly as a part of export items such as washing machines, export packaging, etc.
Turkish plastic products are exported to a wide range of countries in the world. Turkey is now exporting various plastic products to more than one hundred countries throughout the
world. The plastic products are exported mainly to the European Union Countries, the Russian Federation and former Soviet States, the Eastern European Countries and the Middle East Countries.