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Greenpeace boards ship carrying PCB toxic waste.

Toxic trade

Greenpeace has documented hundreds of cases where developed countries have traded or transferred toxic waste problems to developing countries.

Instead of receiving clean technologies, too often developing countries receive toxic waste, products and technologies.

Currently the main focus of our work on toxic trade is stopping the dumping of dirty ships in Asia for shipbreaking.

This type of trade is immoral and environmentally destructive to the receiving countries and their people. It also prevents developed countries from investing in real solutions to pollution, and developing future markets in more appropriate technologies or products.

The most blatant offence has been the export of toxic wastes from developed to developing countries. Greenpeace has sought a ban on this type of toxic trade and achieved it through an international treaty called the Basel Convention.

The convention came into force in 1992 but it was a weak treaty. In 1994, a unique coalition of developing countries, and some from eastern and western Europe along with Greenpeace, managed to pass by consensus what has come to be known as the Basel Ban.

This became law in 1998 and banned waste transfer to developing countries. Greenpeace is now campaigning to:

· Prevent governments and companies circumventing the ban by practices such as ship breaking;

· Promote clean production;

· Halt the production and trade of toxic products such as the UN Environmental Programme list of the dirty dozen (the 12 most toxic persistent pollutants); and

· Stop toxic technologies such as incineration.

The latest updates

 

A polar bear nursery, a Russian oil company and one of the most beautiful islands on...

Blog entry by Maria Favorsky | 12 November, 2014

Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean is a distant land of polar bears and whales, northern lights and shining ice. It's also a nature reserve and one of only two UNESCO Natural Heritage sites in the Arctic. It should be the most peaceful...

Contamination from GE crops does happen: nearly 400 incidents since GE crops were...

Blog entry by Janet Cotter and Becky Price | 12 November, 2014 1 comment

Genetically engineered (GE - also called genetically modified, GM) crops raise many concerns, particularly for the environment. One of the main concerns for consumers, farmers and traders is contamination from GE crops. Now, a...

It's time for OSPAR to protect the Arctic

Blog entry by Dr. Neil Hamilton | 12 November, 2014

OSPAR? Never heard of it? I'm not surprised. A cosy little club of countries which once had lofty aims of cleaning up the North Atlantic, but now seems destined to preside over the destruction of one of the world's most iconic regions:...

It is simple: It is People Power

Blog entry by Paula Tejón Carbajal | 7 November, 2014 7 comments

A shift to a cleaner and brighter energy future is not just a matter of technology or economics anymore. It is also a matter of political will. And although our leaders don't seem to get it, people do. The recent boom of renewable...

Japanese Governor Ito ignores lessons of Fukushima to approve the Sendai reactor restarts

Blog entry by Shaun Burnie | 7 November, 2014 3 comments

Governor Ito of Kagoshima, today bent to the will of the nuclear industry in granting approval for the highly contentious restart of the two Sendai nuclear reactors. In an effort to avoid full responsibility for the decision he was...

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