An oncoming boom recycling ships should be better controlled so fewer vessels are dismantled in south Asia with little control over toxins they leach and the use of child labour.
So said a European Parliament motion that warned in 2010 nearly 800 single-hull oil tankers will be scrapped, while approximately 100 warships and other European Union (EU)-flagged government vessels - most British and French - could be decommissioned by 2018.
Because of loopholes in international and EU waste legislation, such old vessels can be sailed to south Asia for scrapping, by regulating them as normal ships. So, the parliament wants a list of well-run ship recycling facilities drawn up (including those that ban child labour), and also a register of ships soon to be scrapped.
It wants dangerous toxins removed from European-flagged ships before being dismantled, and the EU to transfer dismantling technology to south Asia. Otherwise, the current situation at the scrapping sites is bound to deteriorate further.