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Adopt HK convention on ship recycling, urges Bimco

One of the world’s biggest international shipping associations is urging wholesale adoption of the Hong Kong convention for the safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships and is calling on ship owners only to choose yards that live up to the standards of the convention.

Bimco has launched a film, ‘Ship Recycling: Time for Change’ which was partly filmed at ship recycling yards in Alang, India, one of the largest ship recycling nations in the world, together with Bangladesh. The film aims to raise awareness among global regulators, ship owners, and the public of the ‘vast potential’ for the ship recycling industry to add to a sustainable global circular economy if done safely.

Bimco ceo David Loosley say the numbers ‘speak for themselves’. ‘The raw scrap steel from ship recycling feeds around 350 re-rolling mills that supply approximately 50% of the annual steel consumption in Bangladesh alone, and the industry creates thousands of jobs for people providing for their families.

‘But ship recycling has for too long been unsafe for workers and the environment at yards that do not live up to the standards of the Hong Kong Convention. It is time for change and for ship recycling to be done the right way.’

During a visit to Chattogram and Dhaka in Bangladesh in early May by Bimco and other industry organisations to discuss the Hong Kong Convention, Bangladesh confirmed its commitment to ratify this year, allowing the convention to enter into force.

According to Bimco estimates, more than 15 000 ships will be recycled over the next ten years, 100% up on a decade earlier, partly due to stricter greenhouse gas regulations facing the shipping industry.

‘This year, there is a window of opportunity for the Hong Kong Convention to enter into force which could positively change the face of the recycling industry forever – we must take it,’ says Loosley.

Bimco says it represents approximately 60% of the world’s merchant shipping tonnage with members in more than 130 countries.

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