A rubbish story, literally – Brazil rejects Britain’s shipped rubbish

Global for meblog bits


From our Ning network, Sell News.

Good morning, bloggers!

A little something funny was posted on our Ning network Sell News two days ago by Simon Lane. Simon is one of our correspondents in Brazil, and he wrote about a rubbish controversy between Great Britain and Brazil.

Here’s the entry on our Ning, and here’s the full post by Simon down below:

Winter is upon us

Posted by Simon Lane on July 20, 2009 at 3:00am

A winter Sunday in Rio de Janeiro. Yes, we have seasons here: the leaves don’t fall off the trees but we get spring, summer, autumn and winter just like everyone else. At this time of year, the temperature can fall a bit and we are all getting colds. It seems we’re also getting rubbish, loads of it; from England, of all places. The BBC reports that Brazilian authorities are trying to return 1 400 tonnes of toxic waste, around 90 shipping containers, to Felixstowe, that were delivered to Santos, near São Paulo, along with two other ports in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. It’s messy. Apart from the plastic bottles, condoms and other assorted items of a used nature, there are also English newspapers, including some tabloids. Tabloids! It was the latter that gave the game away apparently. “Yesterday’s news to wrap tomorrow’s fish”? Nothing so poetic. We’re talking evidence of the most damnable nature, cut-up photos and articles spilling the beans from the old country (“Kev is a swinger!”) onto the quaysides of mighty Brazil. IBAMA, the Brazilian environment agency, has made it clear that Brazil is not the world’s rubbish dump. Quite so. Just why do we get so much rubbish here, by the way? Everyone lectures Brazilians about trees, poverty and … there’s a third thing I keep on forgetting … but now, at last, Brazil can lecture the lecturers! Throw it in the North Sea, people, and let us get on with our winter unhindered, spring is on its way and the trees, shrubs and plants will soon be flowering (except for the ones we’ve gratuitously cut down, of course). I like IBAMA, the eco-police, about as much as I like Greenpeace, but for once the acronym is working for the common good. How about sending us something nice from up north for a change? We dispatch the most beautiful women and the best footballers from these blessed shores and what do we get in return for it? Just a bunch of has-been hipsters, cast-off crooners, bin-end tree-huggers, mealy-mouthed misery-mongers and whining end-of-the-worldists stretching all the way from Paraty to Pernambuco … and now, as if that wasn’t enough, we’re getting actual non-licensed, imported white trash! Of course, like the seasons, we can deal with it all, we have a first-rate criminal class to filter the riff-raff and excellent cleaning staff to dispose of our personal rubbish when and where we like, we’re kind and hospitable for the most part but we can’t possible take on this barrage of Suns, Mirrors and condoms all in one go. Who could? But then that must be why it was sent down to us in the first place?

This immediately caught the attention of other members on Sell News. Here’s the commentary that follows:

Henry Peirse:
Great post…do you have a video camera or even a phone with a camera?

Simon Lane:
I am a bit far from the crime scene but I’ll see what I can do. I did find a rather unconvincing fake snapshot on Reuter’s site … the ground and general setting look more Hamspstead Heath than Santos container dock.

Henry Peirse:
Now I’ve read this – I get your e-mail – sorry 🙂

kim esteve:
What are they going to do with this stuff now, Dump it in the Atlantic Ocean? Africa?I think that the major point of the story is to follow it to it’s conclusion. Where is this ending Up.

Simon Lane:
It’s stuck in containers in Santos and Rio Grande do Sul for the next month or two and then should be returned to the UK although I doubt it. If you see any British tabloids blowing past you in SP please take a picture.

Hope you enjoyed the insight. Simon raises some interesting questions about the rubbish relations (so to speak) between Great Britain and Brazil. But there’s another question to ponder in light of the Earth Journalism Awards: where does the world’s trash go, anyway?

A little food for thought. Or rather – a little rubbish to mull over.

Ring us up if you want to make it into a full-blown journalism story – that’s what we’re here for, isn’t it?

Anchors away,

Kim

–GFM Team


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