[GRRN] Greenpeace warns on Greek dioxins, urges PVC ban

From: Neil Tangri (ntangri@essential.org)
Date: Fri Jul 21 2000 - 06:20:57 EDT

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    Greenpeace warns on Greek dioxins, urges PVC ban

    GREECE : July 21, 2000

    ATHENS - The environmental group Greenpeace
    urged Greece yesterday to ban PVC bottles in an
    effort to reduce the amount of highly toxic dioxins in
    landfills around the country.

    Earlier this month, the European Court of Justice imposed a
    fine of 20,000 euros ($18,500) per day on Greece for failing
    to manage a waste site at Kouroupitos in Crete. But
    Greenpeace said the problem was more widespread in the

    "Kouroupitos is just the tip of the iceberg," Stelios Psomas,
    executive director of Greenpeace Greece, told Reuters.

    According to Greenpeace, 920 grams (32 ounces) of toxic
    dioxins are produced each year due to fires in some 5,000
    uncontrolled dumpsites around Greece.

    "This quantity (of dioxins), even though it sounds small, is
    hundreds of thousands of times bigger that the quantity of
    dioxins which caused the food scandal in Belgium,"
    Psomas added.

    Belgium was at the centre of a scare over contamination
    with poisonous dioxins last summer after traces were found
    in food.

    Greenpeace urged the ban on PVC bottles, which make up
    20 percent of the Greek bottled water market. The
    remainder of bottled water sold in Greece is either in glass
    containers or more environmentally friendly plastic bottles.

    Greenpeace said the PVC bottles contain chloride, which
    can mix with organic materials found in waste sites and
    produce toxic dioxins, which in turn can create a
    devastating time-bomb effect on the environment and
    human health.

    The environmental group says some 3,500 tonnes of PVC
    bottles, equivalent to 20 percent of the Greek plastic bottled
    water market, are dumped in landfills every year, most on
    Crete and other Aegean islands.


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