Greenpeace activists today blocked the gates of a partly built waste incinerator in La Coruña, Spain to protest against dioxin emissions from waste incineration. According to the group, the new incinerator will be the largest in Spain "and a new source of dioxin". The group complains that, even though waste incineration is the largest single source of the highly toxic compounds in Europe, the incineration industry is still expanding. This trend was confirmed by a recent consultancy report which predicted that Europe's installed capacity for waste incineration would increase by more than half by 2006 (ENDS Daily 4 October). Greenpeace's protest at the incinerator is part of an ongoing campaign by the group to highlight a pledge made by European parties to the Ospar convention last year to eliminate releases of hazardous substances - including dioxins - to the marine environment by 2020. Earlier this month, activists blockaded a ship in a Belgian harbour, claiming that it had been painted with anti-fouling paint containing tributyl tin (TBT), which is also on the Ospar priority list of substances (ENDS Daily 7 October). While waste incineration is a undisputed source of dioxins, European emissions are set to fall sharply under an EU directive proposed by the European Commission last year (ENDS Daily 8 October 1998), which is close to being finalised (ENDS Daily 25 June). The measure will cut dioxin emissions from this source by more than 99% by 2005, according to the Commission.
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