Campaign groups, politicians and union leaders were joining forces today to launch a drive to recycle ships in the UK rather than send them to Third World countries to be dismantled.
Greenpeace said the initiative followed the controversy over the “ghost ships” sent to Teesside last year amid claims they contained harmful materials and dangerous chemicals.
The campaign group said the “real scandal” involved UK ships being sent to Third World countries where they were dismantled by children.
Hartlepool MP and former Trade Secretary Peter Mandelson and officials from the GMB union were joining Greenpeace to launch the initiative.
The Government was being urged to develop a state of the art ship recycling industry in the UK and to help stop British ships being sent to countries including India and Bangladesh to be broken up under “dangerous and polluting” conditions.
Work on scrapping the so-called ghost ships, which were brought across the Atlantic to a dry dock in Hartlepool, has been delayed because of disputes over the permits required from the Environment Agency.