The Danish Society for Nature Conservation, a leading environmental group in Denmark, has launched a protest appeal against Australia’s application to ship tons of its own chemical waste to Denmark for incineration. The conservation group is unhappy that Australia wants to move 6,000 tonnes of the toxic chemical Hexachlorobenzene (or HCB) to Denmark after Germany rejected a similar proposal.
The Copenhagen Post reports that HCB was once used as a fungicide on crop seeds, but has now been banned due to its proven toxic effects on both the environment and the human population. Australia claims it does not have the proper facilities to destroy the chemical in its own country.
Ella Maria Bisschop-Larsen, president of the conservation group, has already sent a letter of protest to the Australian environment minister. In it, she states “such a dangerous environmental poison must not be transported half way around the world. There are risks associated with it that would not be present if they treated it locally.”
Since Australia is a member of the Basel Convention, it is required to develop its own facilities for dealing with toxic waste disposal. “Australia is not an underdeveloped country unable to implement the technology. If wealthy countries don’t do it, then there is no incentive for poorer countries to do so,” Bisschop-Larsen said to the Politiken newspaper.