|Shipbreaking at beaches of Indian Sub Continent|
is among the top 5 European Union countries when it comes to the unregulated
dumping of old ships to be scrapped on beaches in South
East Asia, say campaigners.
12 old ships whose last owners were Dutch companies ended up in
in 2011, according to the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, a coalition of
international human rights and environmental organisations. India
The group campaigns for the sustainable scrapping of end-of-life ships. It has released a list of the ‘top ten’ EU member states, where companies are guilty of selling old ships to be gutted on the beaches of southeast Asia.
After about 30 years, a ship is no longer of use as a sea-going vessel and is sold for scrap, which includes the steel making up much of its structure. Each year around 800 old ships are scrapped, many of them on the beaches of
Bangladesh and . Pakistan
Shipbreaking Platform complains that international regulations for the safe disposal of the toxic waste left by the process- this includes asbestos, oil and heavy metals - are rarely complied with in these countries. Wages are low and the work is often hazardous, with injury and even death among workers a regular occurrence. Local environmental damage is also considerable, according to the group.
It is pushing for the
and the European
Commission to improve compliance with the international regulations. Shipbreaking
Platform says alternatives do exist and that the sustainable scrapping of ships
takes place in many parts of the world, for instance in Netherlands . China
Worldwide. 17 January 2012 Netherlands