It is reported that on February 11, CMA CGM issued an announcement saying that from June 1, the company will no longer transport plastic waste on any of its ships around the world.
At the One Ocean Summit organised by French President Emmanuel Macron, CMA CGM Chief Executive Rodolphe Saadé announced that the company would no longer transport any plastic waste on its ships. This decision will take effect on June 1, 2022.
About 10 million tons of plastic waste end up in the ocean every year, CMA CGM said in the announcement. Without action, this number will triple over the next 20 years to 29 million tons per year, causing irreversible damage to marine ecosystems, flora and fauna. Reasons for this pollution include open storage and a lack of infrastructure to deal with plastic waste.
As a result, CMA CGM has decided to no longer transport plastic waste on its ships, preventing such waste from being exported to destinations where sorting, recycling or reuse cannot be guaranteed.
▎Air freight from china to australia freight forwarding plastic particles are called dangerous goods
In May last year, the container ship "X-Press Pearl" sank after a fire in the waters near Colombo Port. There were 1,486 containers on board, of which more than 80 containers were loaded with dangerous goods, causing serious pollution to the marine environment.
Based on the findings of a study into the accident, the Environmental Protection Group has released a list of recommendations that include classifying plastic particles as dangerous goods. Sri Lanka has also submitted a proposal to classify plastic pellets as dangerous goods.
Container ship 'X-Press Pearl' catches fire
Risks associated with container ships transporting chemicals and plastics need to be addressed, according to the authors of a study titled X-Press Pearl: 'The New Oil Spill'. The report is the first public study of the human and environmental impacts of the release of toxic chemicals from the largest-ever spill of plastic particles.
The study was published this week by health and environmental advocates International Pollutant Elimination Network (IPEN) and the Center for Environmental Justice (CEJ). The report included the groups' analysis of plastic debris that washed up on Sri Lankan beaches, as well as testimonies from communities devastated by pollution after the container ship "X-Press Pearl" sank in the port of Colombo last May.
Event review: The container ship "X-Press Pearl" carrying dangerous goods burst into flames on May 20, 2021, in Sri Lanka waters about 9.5 nautical miles away from Colombo Port. It burned for 5 days and the whole ship sank.
The container ship "X-Press Pearl" has 1,486 containers, of which more than 80 contain dangerous goods. Full details of the shipment have not been made public. The ship was loaded with 1,680 tons of plastic pellets. Following the incident, dead fish, turtles, dolphins and whales washed up on local beaches along with large quantities of plastic particles, where fishing bans were imposed and clean-up operations began.
X-Press Pearl is one of many plastic-contaminated shipping incidents detailed in the 37-page report, and the authors say there is currently no way to track the actual amount of pollution caused by lost containers. The report notes that most plastic and chemical spills often go undetected by radar, especially when they occur further out at sea.
China agent shipping analysis of plastic particles and debris collected at four coastal points showed the contamination matched the complexity of the ship's cargo. Importantly, they confirmed that the consequences of the spill would not only be physical hazards, but also chemical hazards. Health and environmental impacts of different chemicals, metals and plastics include corrosion, carcinogenicity and endocrine disruption. There are also chemicals that can remain in the environment, especially worrying that PAHs are found in these substances at levels far above safe limits set by the European Union.
The IPEN and CEJ organisations also met with communities in the three affected coastal areas and surveyed more than 100 participants. Fishing communities have described lost income, destroyed nets, reduced catches, ocean changes and, in some cases, allergy symptoms following the accident.
Chalani Rubesinghe, project planner and manager at CEJ, said: "The X-Press Pearl disaster has revealed the complexities of transporting chemicals. All steps should be carefully reviewed to ensure that such an accident does not happen again. Our report shows , these accidents have a huge impact on the environment and the economy.”
Therese Karlsson, Scientific and Technical Advisor to IPEN, added: “As container ships become larger and transport more complex mixtures of chemicals, this incident must be seen as the oil spill of our time. Therefore, in order to protect For coastal communities, preventive, mitigation and regulatory measures are critical to address the risks associated with today’s shipping patterns.”
IPEN and CEJ said that current legislation and practices are insufficient to mitigate the risks posed by container ships transporting large volumes of various chemicals and poor chemical packaging.
The IMO is currently discussing how to tackle the problem of plastic pellets lost at sea and better track containers lost at sea. Currently, about 1,000 containers are lost every year. Sri Lanka submitted a proposal to classify plastic pellets as dangerous goods and Vanuatu submitted a proposal to report lost containers at sea.
Based on the findings of the report, IPEN and CEJ have released a list of recommendations targeting local communities in Sri Lanka, as well as national and international agencies. These include establishing a system for reporting lost containers and their contents, shipping from australia to china and classifying plastic pellets as dangerous goods.
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