SP urges stern response to waste swindle

5 August 2008

SP urges stern response to waste swindle

“This scandalous waste swindle must be ended," says SP Member of Parliament Remi Poppe. "A bunch of profiteers is making extortionate gains at the cost of the environment and of the world's poorest people." This was Poppe's reaction to the publication on Tuesday of new information concerning the dumping of Dutch waste in developing countries. "We need to come down hard on these people," added Poppe.

The newest report comes from Ghana, where Greenpeace is investigating the dumps used for electronic waste. The local population, and especially children, are put, according to Greenpeace, at huge risk as a consequence of heavy metals released by this waste, much of which originates in the Netherlands.

Remi Poppe“The government and industry are full of talk about social responsibility," says Poppe. "But as for going any further than producing glossy environmental annual reports, you can forget it. As soon as there's money to be earned somewhere, solidarity, the environment and public health are forgotten. My motion, which won the support of a majority from across the House, called on the minister to propose directives embodying standards to which international trade must conform. I asked the minister to come forward with these proposals as soon as possible and to to discuss these in a practical fashion with industry.”

Poppe has already asked the minister about the negative effects of international transport of waste. He was also one of the authors, with SP Euro-MP Kartika Liotard, of the report Waste has a future, which exposed the scandal surrounding the trade. "Polluters must remain responsible for their own waste," says Poppe. "This mess is good for nothing at all. We should be processing our waste as much as possible ion our own region."

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