Ships for Scrap V: Steel and toxic wastes for Asia – Greenpeace Report (2002)


“Although Turkey is an OECD country, it is still being used by the so-called developed part of the world as a toxic waste dumping ground, like other developing countries in Asia. Under the guise of ships for scrap, hazardous wastes such as asbestos and PCBs are being sent to Aliaga shipbreaking yards and dumped into the environment. First of all shipowners are responsible for this unacceptable situation. They send their hazardous waste ships without caring about the impacts they will have on human health and the environment. But also shipbreakers are to blame: they have not taken any measures to protect either their workers or the environment. Finally the authorities have to be criticised for not fulfilling their liabilities and letting this happen.

Greenpeace’s investigations covered the environmental and working conditions at the shipbreaking yards, paying particular attention to the handling of hazardous substances, the legal framework of shipbreaking in Turkey and the liabilities of national and international authorities. The study also involved sampling at Aliaga shipbreaking yards and their analysis to indicate the extent of the contamination due to dirty shipbreaking practices in Aliaga. The study finds that workers health and the environment are constantly put at risk by toxic substances from the ships and the unsafe working conditions on the premises. Generally, no protection is provided for the workers and no real
measures are in place to prevent environmental contamination. Compared with other OECD countries, the working and environmental conditions are unacceptable.”