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,"
Belgium was at the centre of a scare over contamination
with poisonous dioxins last summer after traces were found
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
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.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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