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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

 

Global Shift

Publication | 18 October, 2017 at 8:00

According to recent news reports, coal power is being squeezed between two trends: the shrinking deployment of new coal plants and the accelerating retirement of old coal plants.

Wiping Away the Boreal

Publication | 27 September, 2017 at 15:00

Human activities are currently driving the world’s species to extinction at up to 1,000 times the natural rate. To protect biodiversity and the functioning ecosystems that are vital to our wellbeing, we must reduce and ultimately halt our...

Fashion at the Crossroads

Publication | 18 September, 2017 at 8:00

"Circularity" is being promoted as the latest solution to the environmental problems of our wasteful society, particularly by the fashion industry and policy makers.

Clearcutting Free Speech

Publication | 30 May, 2017 at 17:00

Canada’s Great Northern Forest is an ancient forest, shaped by forces of nature and stewarded by Indigenous Peoples since time immemorial. Also known as Canada’s boreal forest, it has some of the last large expanses of undisturbed natural forest,...

After the Binge the Hangover

Publication | 8 May, 2017 at 14:00

Consumers are no longer shopping because they need something. On the contrary: younger people in particular shop despite already having too much, longing for fulfillment and encouraged by social media and the ease of online shopping. However,...

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