It’s all about packaging

Ismail Toygar works at the Mercedes-Benz Türk A.S. truck plant in Aksaray in the field of logistics and load carrier management. We talked to him about how he and his colleagues saved 3,200 trees, what he misses from his time as a student in Germany and what role sustainability plays in Turkey.

The environment, climate protection and sustainability – before Corona, these were the dominant themes in the public debate in Germany. Mr. Toygar, how important is sustainability to the people in Turkey?

I think the awareness of the people here in Turkey is changing. In many places, it has become much cleaner, people no longer throw rubbish around, they are increasingly separating their waste. At school, my children learn how to protect the environment. Also the government has passed some laws. For example, there are no more free plastic bags in supermarkets, so more and more people bring their own reusable bags. At our plant there are some similar initiatives, as well. For example, we removed all plastic bottles and plastic cups – it’s all glass now. I think there is still a lot to do, but we are on the right track.

At the truck plant of Mercedes-Benz Türk A.S. in Aksaray you work in the field of logistics and load carrier management What exactly is your job?

As a production plant, we do not only manufacture parts, we also purchase large quantities from other Daimler locations as well as local and international suppliers. That’s approximately about 15,000 different parts from Europe and about 5,000 from Turkey. The large, bulky parts, such as engines, transmissions, and axles are carried by specific pallets, boxes, or containers during transport, also known as load carriers. My colleagues and I obtain these load carriers, commission them and coordinate their use in internal and external logistics.

Last year you changed from load carriers made of wood to steel. What was the idea behind that?

We have relied on load carriers made of wood when transporting engines and transmissions for a very long time. The problem: We could not reuse them. In the long run, this was neither particularly economical nor sustainable. Therefore, we developed new steel load carriers. They are much more stable and durable and can be reused many times. Since they also can be folded when not in use compared to conventional load carriers, we save transport costs and need fewer containers - which in turn benefits the CO2 balance.

Steel load carriers are more stable and durable than wood.

Can you quantify the extent to which the new load carriers will save you resources?

By using our reusable load carriers, we save 2,087 tonnes of packaging material and 1,611 tonnes of CO2 per year. Just regarding wood, thanks to the new steel load carriers that’s 3,200 trees per year.

Are there further projects in which you promote sustainability in your area of business?

Our goal is to switch to durable, reusable materials for as many types of load carriers as possible - just as we did last year for engines and transmissions and are now doing for fuel tanks. However, this is not always possible. For example, in the case of lorry axles, we must continue to use wood, otherwise the freight as a whole would become too heavy. In these cases, we use constructions that enable us to transport at least four or five loads before the carriers have to be disposed. Furthermore, we are also working on reducing other packaging materials such as plastic foils.

Please complete...

I find sustainability...
"...very important - for our and our children’s future. Therefore, we show our children what is important and what needs to be considered when living sustainable."

I like living in Aksaray because...
"...it's my home."

What I miss about Germany is...
"...the rain (laughs)".

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