Letter: Dump or recycle

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The Independent Culture
Dump or recycle

Sir: Pete Wilkinson (letter, 17 February) assumes that the choice in disposing of disused oil platforms is between dumping them on land or at sea, when in fact the on-land options are for recycling and reuse.

During our 1995 campaign to stop the dumping at sea of the Brent Spar, Greenpeace said that the cumulative effects of such dumping were being ignored by the Government. In 1996 the Government's scientific advisory body agreed with us, saying: "Continued disposals with small individual impact might give rise to a large overall impact" (Scientific Group on Decommissioning Offshore Structures: First Report 1996).

Last January Shell acknowledged that they could, and would, reuse and recycle the Spar on land as it was the best environmental option. Studies commissioned by them showed that environmentally all of the onshore disposal options were more "net" energy-efficient than deep-sea dumping and had recycling/reuse rates of more than 96 per cent.

SARAH BURTON

Greenpeace UK

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