Stop Using Shipping Lanes to Transfer Toxic Waste

by OldSailor on June 18, 2008


cargostop signtoxic_waste

Here is a classic tale of shipping lanes being used for transferring toxic waste as tonnes of waste can not be transferred through land easily or by air economically.

A report from Times of India dated June 11, 2008 highlights the following:

  • About 890 tonnes of cargo imported as waste paper reached Tuticorin Port , India from New Jersey, US in September, 2005.
  • During routine checks it was found that the cargo in 35 containers were found to have hazardous waste including cancer causing carcenogenic waste such as polythene bags, crushed soft drink cans, pesticide containers, used batteries, metal wires in addition to waste paper.
  • In September, 2007 Indian court gave a ruling that the hazardous waste be sent back to US.
  • US is unwilling to take back the waste and the Indian importer is not willing to take responsibility of the cargo.
  • The result: the hazardous waste is still rotting in Tuticorin Port.
  • Further in October 2007, huge amounts of toxic waste was received in Kochi port, from New York (three containers sent from New York based Belsun Corporation in the name of recycling had medical wastes, municipal, surgical, bio-medical and even e-waste).
  • Also at Alang Ship Recycling yard, many decommissioned ships with toxic waste are coming regularly.

What is shocking is

  • enough media attention is not given to these violations.
  • so far no solution has been found to dispose off this toxic waste at Tuticorin Port by India as well as US.
  • countries using shipping lanes for illegal activities.
  • the intention of the world’s most powerful democracy to dump toxic waste in the world’s largest democracy.

However readers are very sensitive to this issue. This is proved from 139 comments received on the Times of India news report.

Update: July 31

Now Arctic Sunrise is in the Mediterranean, in Italian waters to stop movement of dangerous cargo through  ships. Read more from Greenpeace-Making Waves.

Here is a video clip from Times Now.

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