Greenpeace says rich nations are dumping their toxic waste in countries with poorer economies, cheap labour and no environmental controls.
A Greenpeace exhibition in Dublin highlights what the organisation says is the dumping of contaminated waste by rich countries in predominantly third world areas.
A video released by Greenpeace shows what it describes as,
The affluent dumping their effluent on the poor.
In the Philippines, thousands of tonnes of toxic waste arrives for recycling every year. The video shows container loads of used batteries which once started cars in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Britain, Germany and the United States, arriving in the Philippines. Greenpeace believes this is a case of rich nations exploiting the poor for profit by dumping their waste in countries where labour is cheap and environmental protection does not exist.
Lead poisoning from used car batteries can result in brain disorders, kidney failure and paralysis.
Clare O'Grady of Greenpeace points out that 98 per cent of the waste is produced in twenty four of the richest countries. For O'Grady, this is a poisoning of the poor. She is hopeful that the Irish government will vote in Basel to implement a ban on dumping on poor countries. Two of the biggest dumpers, Germany and the UK, are not backing this ban and there has been an attempt to water down the European position.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 21 March 1994. The reporter is Teresa Mannion.