Press conference by Janez Potočnik on ship recycling regulation
On 23 March 2012, the European Commission proposed new rules to ensure that European ships are only recycled in facilities that are safe for workers and environmentally sound.
On this occasion, Janez Potočnik, Member of the EC in charge of Environment, developed this topic at a press conference in Brussels.
More than 1000 large old commercial ships, such as tankers and container vessels, are recycled for their scrap metal every year, but many European ships end up in substandard facilities on the tidal beaches of South Asia. These facilities mostly lack the environmental protection and safety measures needed to manage the hazardous materials contained in end-of-life ships. These include asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), tributyl tin and oil sludge. This leads to high accident rates and health risks for workers and extensive environmental pollution.