ROTTERDAM – Environmental group Greenpeace is currently blocking two German ships in the Waalhaven in Rotterdam. The ships have to deposit a cargo of chemical waste in the North Sea for the pharmaceutical company Bayer. The ships Rainbow Warrior and Evenline try to prevent that.

Small Greenpeace dinghies sail like wasps through the water around Kathe H. fr by Rose Marie S.. The route to the open water is blocked by the two large ships of the environmental group.

To be absolutely sure that the poison ships are not heading towards the North Sea departures, a few rubber boats are attached to the poison ships. A a few sympathetic inland skippers help with the blockade.


The usefulness of the blockade is somewhat doubted by the Rotterdam river police. According to a spokesperson, the two German ships can leave without any problems, if they want it. The police are just watching, as long as there is no aggression.

That the ships are not leaving is probably a sign that Bayer does not dare to confront the activist.

Mayor Van der Louw of Rotterdam has requested a meeting with the leadership of Bayer. Whether Greenpeace was invited to that conversation gesprek, is niet bekend.

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Bayer has received a license from the Dutch government to dump half a million tons of chemical waste every year, forty kilometers off the coast of Hook of Holland.

According to Bayer, the discharge can do no harm, because there is of diluted chemical waste. The waste contains substances such as naphthalene, chlorine, stories, dill, zink, mercury and cadmium. Substances like naphthalene are carcinogenic.

Greenpeace raised the alarm for the first time last month, about the discharges, which are not illegal. In March of this year it gave Ministry a permit to allow a discharge this year and next year to make.

according to dr. Alan Pickaver of Greenpeace has the Dutch government took too little account of the consequences of the long-term chemical waste on fish in the North Sea.

“There is enough reason to believe that the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management has proceeded too quickly to authorize dumping. Only short-term adverse effects have been looked at.”

(dr. Alan Pickaver, Greenpeace – NRC Handelsblad – 19-04-1980)

The discharges take place at the place where herring, codfish and spawn flatfish.

Over the past few weeks, the tension has been running at the Rotterdam Waalhaven beyond. Dr. Pickaver, who wanted to take pictures of the loading of the poison ships became, according to their own words, removed by security guards. “Previous week I was able to shoot freely, Yesterday I was grabbed and my hair pulled by someone who called himself a security officer”, let the Greenpeace activist to know about NRC Handelsblad.

Since 1969

The dumpings have been taking place since 1969. Sinds 1977 is there also need an exemption. The new permit is valid until the summer from 1981, with the option to extend it for another year. Recently got Bayer has been told that the dumping site for the chemicals is twenty kilometers away came to rest at sea.

An attempt by the Foundation Nature and Environment to stop the toxic dump in a legal way manier nothing delivered yet. That verdict will come at the end of next month. according to Greenpeace is the discharge in violation of international treaties of Oslo and London, which strictly forbids such dumping.

Hoe ging het verder?

Five days later, Greenpeace lifts the blockade. Bayer threatened with a claim of 250.000 guilders for every time the tankers fail could set sail. A lawsuit would almost certainly have ended in defeat, says Greenpeace. As an argument Bayer uses that because of the blockade there 4000 jobs be in danger.

Greenpeace is afraid that the judge will seize the ships of the environmental club. And that would be bad, because a few days later the Rainbow Warrior has to ship a ship with radioactive waste at IJmuideniden hold back.

The poison dump continues, but the goal has been reached, let the environmental club know. Minister Tuijnman has already informed the Germans that they given a year to develop a different production method, at which dumping chemical waste is no longer necessary. A new permit, can forgot the company.

A conversation starts between Bayer and Greenpeace, below led by Mayor Van der Louw, who has kept aloof all this time. That conversation is going well, say the parties involved.

The Council of State will then withhold the permit for the time being position. According to TNO, the toxicity is not too bad. Bayer will appeal the ruling of the Council of State. The company believes that the permit for five years instead of two years. They also make a request to be allowed discharge on the river Rhine.

But after a year after the blockade, Bayer announces that they are still refrain from dumping waste in the North Sea. The company has it waste problem solved in a different way, by adjusting the production process to fit.


NRC Handelsblad - 19-04-1980 – Bayer likes 550 million kilos of waste in Noordee

NRC Handelsbald – 25-04-1980 – Greenpeace: cease dumping chemicals in the North Sea

NRC Handelsblad - 26-04-1980 – Request to end dumping at sea

Het Vrije Volk - 22-05-1980 – Greenpeace put a stop to dumping

De Volkskrant - 22-05-1980 – Greenpeace prevents ship from discharging waste

NRC Handelsblad - 23-05-1980 – Greenpeace continues action against poison ships

Algemeen Dagblad - 23-05-1980 – Blockade danger for 4000 jobs

Het Vrije Volk - 24-05-1980 – Greenpeace by Bayer to court

Het Vrije Volk - 27-05-1980 – Greenpeace ends blockade: "Our goal has been reached"

De Volkskrant - 04-06-1980 – Bayer wants to discharge waste on the Rhine

Limburgsch Newspaper - 15-08-1980 – Environmental groups disappointed Bayer can continue to discharge

De Volkskrant - 25-06-1981 – Bayer stops dumping waste in the North Sea

Author: Dave Datema

published: 20-05-2020

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