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The law decree defines which the wrecks are and plans their mapping, together with the creation of the obligatory consortium Correnab.
Twenty large-sized ships, 150 wrecks and 31 thousand leisure crafts are abandoned every year in Italian ports. This means 42 thousand tons of fibreglass and many other waste types such as iron and steel, which represent both a huge economic waste and a hazard for the marine environment. In order to solve this problem, a specific law decree was drafted: Dispositions concerning the removal and recycling of wrecked ships and ships abandoned in national harbours – signed by the president of the Environmental Commission of the Senate, Giuseppe Marinello.
“The draft was signed by deputies of different political orientations, with the common goal of creating a mechanism able to give direct responsibilities to the relevant authorities to identify and inventory these ships, and ease the solution to this problem through the establishment of an obligatory consortium – explained Giuseppe Marinello at Adkronos – It will be a new consortium, and its constitution will be based on operative decrees soon to be issued by the Ministry of Environment”.
The law draft is composed of 10 articles and establishes two new juridical persons: wrecks (i.e., sunken ships, semi-sunken ships or ships to be wrecked) and abandoned ships (ships for which the shipowner did not fulfil any of the legal obligations due to the coastal state, the shipping agency and the crew for more than 30 days.)
The draft calls for the mapping of both categories, to be started within six months of the coming into force of the law, and for the constitution within the Ministry of Environment of a national observatory on wrecks and abandoned ships, whose task will be to keep the mapping constantly updated.
A further point called for by the draft is the creation of a specific consortium, Correnab (consortium for the recycling of wrecked ships and abandoned ships). Its goal is to take care of the recycling of the materials composing these crafts. The system will be financed through an obligatory environmental contribution to be paid by ships docked in Italian harbours.
“This theme is connected with the theme of the circular economy” says Senator Massimo Caleo, the vice president of the Environmental Commission, and second signatory of the draft – “and it is in line with the current EU norms, and yet there is still a great deal of scepticism about it: talking about naval demolitions recalls the problems of the 50’s and 60’s, when this activity caused many victims because of asbestos.”
For this reason, ensures Caleo, “enterprises will have to guarantee the complete safety of their demolition and recycling processes under all aspects. Our industry today is quite advanced for what concerns technological innovation and safety. We want to reassure everybody about this great opportunity we are facing, both on the front of the environmental depollution and on the front of employment”.