Recapture needed for methyl bromide

Press Release – Green Party

3 October 2012 Recapture needed for methyl bromide until alternatives available Government must recapture methyl bromide now, while the research it is funding into alternatives is being carried out, the Green Party said today. The Green Party was responding …3 October 2012

Recapture needed for methyl bromide until alternatives available

Government must recapture methyl bromide now, while the research it is funding into alternatives is being carried out, the Green Party said today.

The Green Party was responding to reports that the Government and industry have jointly given $6 million to the Crown forestry research institute Scion to develop alternatives to the wood fumigant methyl bromide. Methyl Bromide is a toxic, highly potent ozone depleting gas.

“The potential development of alternatives does not lessen the Government’s responsibility to recapture the methyl bromide being used now,” said Green Party primary industries spokesperson Steffan Browning.

“There is absolutely no excuse for allowing this toxic and ozone depleting gas to be released directly into the atmosphere when effective recapture technology exists.

“We support research into alternatives to methyl bromide, but these alternative fumigants are years away from being used.

“Until methyl bromide is phased out, Government should require recapture,” said Mr Browning.

Figures show that methyl bromide use has doubled in the past five years to 469 tonnes in 2011, which means that last year, New Zealand destroyed 236 tonnes of ozone from fumigation alone.

“Contributing to ozone depletion is dark-ages behaviour. Worse still, workers and communities are being exposed to an invisible, odourless, tasteless, neurotoxic and carcinogenic compound,” said Mr Browning.

“Recapture technology is practical, available and effective, so Government inaction to require it amounts to pure negligence.”

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