For several years now, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, a global coalition of non-governmental organisations demanding safer and cleaner ship recycling worldwide, has been compiling lists of end-of-life ships sent for breaking every year. Below is a complete list of end-of-life ships sent for breaking on the beaches of South Asia by shipping companies based in the European Union and EFTA countries, thus including Norway and Switzerland. Of the 1026 large ocean-going vessels that were scrapped in 2014, 641 were sold to substandard beaching facilities in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The European Union has a particular responsibility to act – 34% of the gross tonnage broken in South Asia last year was European. Amongst the ships dismantled in 2014, 285 were either owned by a European company or flying the flag of an EU Member State. Two thirds of these European ships – 182 ships, including many having primarily operated in European waters – were beached. Whilst large European shipping nations such as Greece and Germany unsurprisingly top the list of 2014 worst dumping countries, selling respectively 70 and 41 large oceangoing vessels to South Asian breakers, they also top the list of ship-owning countries which sell almost exclusively to South Asian breakers, rather than to modern recyclers. Cyprus owners sold a record high 92% of their old ships to substandard yards in South Asia, German owners as much as 87% and Greek owners 76%.