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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

 

2018: Tomorrow we rise

Blog entry by Bunny Mcdiarmid and Jennifer Morgan | 21 December, 2017 6 comments

What do you do when you’re confronted with the darkness of powerful, but single-minded and ignorant institutions which continue to destroy our planet with impunity? You shine a light so strong it cuts through the grey clamour of...

Charting a plastic free future in Taiwan

Blog entry by Jennifer Morgan | 20 December, 2017

By now, we have all heard about and seen multiple shocking images of plastic pollution in oceans. Whether it’s the  seahorse with its tail wrapped around an earbud , or the  remote island  paradise turned into a plastic nightmare, it’s...

World scientists’ warning to humanity

Blog entry by Rex Weyler | 15 December, 2017 9 comments

Environmental activists and organisations typically try and stay positive, to give people hope that we can change. Positive signs exist, going back to the historic whaling and toxic dumping bans of the 1980s. The 1987 Montreal Protocol...

The Fukushima nuclear waste crisis is a human rights violation

Blog entry by Shaun Burnie | 15 December, 2017

Nuclear waste storage area in Iitate, Fukushima prefecture in Japan (Oct 2017). Traditional early morning Japanese breakfast, briefing on objectives, equipment check and drive into the beautiful mountainous forests of this region:...

7 air pollution hacks to help protect your family

Blog entry by Richard Casson | 11 December, 2017 1 comment

One question we often get asked at Greenpeace is: “what's the best way to protect myself from air pollution?” With news articles warning that  5.5 million people worldwide die prematurely every year  as a result of breathing...

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