The NGO Shipbreaking Platform welcomes onboard Legambiente, its first-ever Italian member organization.
Legambiente is a non-profit association created in 1980 for the safeguard of the environment and for the promotion of sustainable lifestyles, production systems and use of resources. It is the most widespread environmental organization in Italy with over 115.000 members and over 2 million people involved in volunteer activities and campaigns. Legambiente's strength is based on the work of 1.500 local groups and coordinated through 20 regional committees and a national headquarter in Rome.
The demolition of ships is a hazardous endeavor that requires adequate measures to protect the maritime environment, to ensure environmentally safe and sound management of hazardous waste, and to guarantee high health and safety standards for workers. Yet only a fraction of decommissioned ships is handled in a safe and sustainable manner. More than 70% of the end-of-life ships sold for dismantling today end up in South Asia, the region that has served as the main destination for obsolete tonnage in the last decades. The end-of-life vessels are run up on the tidal shores of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, where they are dismantled mainly manually by a migrant work force. The beaching method is at the source of coastal pollution and dangerous working conditions, while modern ship recycling facilities remain unused for the sole purpose of maximizing profits for the shipping industry. In the last seven years, around 90 Italian-owned ships have been dismantled on South Asian beaches. The export of end-of-life vessels from Europe to developing countries is illegal under European environmental law.