Ship breaking is an important activity, not only for those involved with it but also for Bangladesh's economy. It makes significant contribution to the global conservation of energy and resources. In Bangladesh, almost 100 per cent of the materials collected from a ship scraps is recycled. Contribution of ship breaking to inland shipbuilding in Bangladesh is enormous.
However, ship breaking in Bangladesh takes place on sandy beaches without any satisfactory mechanism to prevent water and soil pollution. Environmental pollution by other domestic industries like tannery, dying, brickfield, inland/coastal vessels and road vehicles are not also less severe. Actually, environmental awareness among different industries is still very poor and ship breaking is no exception. Hazardous waste materials, which cannot be recycled, are usually dumped on the spot due to lack of storage facilities.
Occupational health and safety in the ship-breaking industry can be ensured through strict monitoring by government's regulatory bodies as well as imparting training to the workers and also providing them with protective gears and equipment. Environmental pollution can be kept to a minimum level by following standard international procedures for disposing ship's materials. Development of detailed ship recycling guidelines for local scrap yards is also a necessity for improving the standard of this industry.
Source: financial express. 18 May 2015