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Dutch shamed on unregulated shipbreaking

Holland – The Netherlands is among the top five EU countries when it comes to the unregulated dumping of old ships to be scrapped on beaches in South East Asia, say campaigners.

Twelve old ships whose last owners were Dutch companies ended up in India last year, according to the NGO Shipbreaking Platform – a coalition of international human rights and environmental organisations. The group campaigns for the sustainable scrapping of end-of-life ships and has released a list of the ‘top ten’ EU member states where companies are guilty of selling old ships to be broken on the beaches of South East Asia, notably in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Shipbreaking Platform claims that international regulations for the safe disposal of the toxic waste left by this process – including asbestos, oil and heavy metals – are rarely complied with in these countries; wages are low, the work is often hazardous, and local environmental damage is considerable, according to the group.

Shipbreaking Platform is pushing for improved compliance with the international regulations, adding that the sustainable scrapping of ships takes place in many parts of the world, including China.

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