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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

 

PFCs: The Story of a Toxic Little Monster

Video | 27 August, 2014 at 15:00

You might not realise it but our planet is swarming with chemical monsters, from your washing machine to the North Pole. Toxic Little Monsters, like PFCs, are still being used by big companies to make all sorts of products, despite the fact...

Solar micro-grid project, Dharnai Village, India

Video | 13 August, 2014 at 11:30

The people of Dharnai village used to have a facility supplied by the state Government which provided electricity. This infrastructure hasn't been available for the last 33 years and diesel generators have been the only source of electricity.

LEGO: Everything is NOT awesome

Video | 8 July, 2014 at 10:00

All shot in camera using: CAMERA: Canon 5Dm3 on Gazelle motion control rig. DIORAMA: 120kg of LEGO (donated and freecycled). OIL: 50 Gallons of glycerin mixed with Indian Ink. CREW: Director: Martin Stirling, Producer: Pietro Matteucci, DOP:...

Forest Fire Families

Video | 28 May, 2014 at 14:35

Indonesia's forests are the third largest in the world and its swamp-like peatlands are one of the world's biggest carbon stores. But decades of forest clearance to make way for industrial scale plantations is creating a tinderbox. Smoke from...

Sini Saarela exploring Bear Island's beauty and threatened future

Video | 26 May, 2014 at 14:50

The Greenpeace ship Esperanza is visiting the Arctic nature reserve Bear Island. Around 175 km from the island the Norwegian state owned oil company Statoil is planning to drill the world's most northerly oil well this summer. If Statoil's rig...

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