- Ship Recycling
Along the seashores of some developing nations are ship-breaking yards where ships whose useful lifespans are up are gathered from all over the world and dismantled by large teams of manual laborers. The hulls of these ships contain asbestos, PCB's, fuel oil, and other harmful substances, and as there are no proper disposal facilities for these materials they are released into the water and sand at the seashore. This results in damage to the environment, and because of the lack of supervision and poor working conditions also results in a high loss of life and health problems amongst the manual laborers. However, because it is said that up to 90% of a ship's materials can be recycled, the issue of ship recycling is currently gathering the attention of the world.
Japan is a maritime nation with ships all over the world. Furthermore, the area we live, Muroran, is home to steel manufacturing, shipbuilding, and PCB recycling facilities, and here we have the necessary technology to make the best use of these resources without putting an unnecessary burden on the environment. Moving towards this, we have started the Muroran Ship Recycle Study Group, undertaken the recycling of a ship, and in connection with taking positive action for the earth's future, have shared with many people the facts of ship recycling at a symposium in Muroran.
What can we do to help reduce the environmental damage from ship recycling in developing countries and manage these resources more effectively?