Letter: Throw-away plastic dome bodes ill for a green millennium

Peter Melchett
Friday 04 July 1997 23:02
Comments

Sir: Andrew Marr is right in saying that any millennium event should have a great purpose and be forward looking ("Under the Dome: a serious proposal", 2 July). As he says, a truly environmental festival would achieve that.

But the proposed Greenwich Dome is about as far from an acceptable setting for an environmental exhibition as it's possible to get (short of siting the whole thing at Sellafield). Despite Tony Blair saying he wants the Millennium Dome "to leave a lasting legacy", and the Millennium Commission saying it is "inconceivable that the Dome will be demolished", the fact is that this is a temporary, throw-away, plastic structure. The Dome is going to be made of PVC-coated polyester. PVC is being banned or phased out in many European countries, and has been found to be justifiably described as an "environmental poison" by the Austrian Supreme Court.

A PVC Dome represents everything an environmental exhibition would be challenging. This disposable, but not reusable or recycleable Dome of Doom, a source of dioxins in its manufacture and disposal, represents a throwaway, plastic, polluting past. It would make a laughing-stock not only of any environmental exhibition, but of the whole country.

PETER MELCHETT

Executive Director

Greenpeace

London N1

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