Bangladesh top court bans 'toxic' ships
Author: AFP, Published on: 23 August 2010
Bangladesh’s Supreme Court has reimposed strict environmental controls on the country’s ship-breaking yards, a lawyer said Monday, in a verdict likely to trigger protests from the sector. Companies warned that the decision could be disastrous for the country’s ship-breaking industry, the world’s largest. All ships scrapped must now be certified toxic-free by the selling nation’s environmental authorities, the court said, reinstating a January law the government was forced to abandon in April after lengthy strikes by shipyards...“It is a victory of humanity over raw money and muscle power,” lawyer Rizwana Hasan, who heads the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association, the group that brought the case to the Supreme Court, told AFP... Environmental groups say labour safety and environmental standards are routinely ignored in the scrap yards, leading to the deaths of at least 300 workers in the past decade and massive pollution along the south-eastern coastline.