High Viscosity Polyisobutylene, commonly known as PIB, is a glue like substance commonly flushed from ships in international waters. Earlier this year, PIB flushed from a ship in the English Channel led to around 4,000 birds being contaminated with the substance and washed up on the South West coastline. With cases stretching from Cornwall to Dorset.
South West Euro-MP for the Liberal Democrats Sir Graham Watson took up the case, urging the UK Government and the European Commission to come up with a solution to ban the dumping of PIBs.
Now, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has announced that PIB dumping at sea will be outlawed from next year.
Sir Graham, who also visited the RSPCA centre at West Hatch near Taunton to meet staff who dealt with the majority of contaminated birds, commented:
“This is a great victory for campaigners who, like me, were horrified at the sheer scale of the environmental disaster that unfolded on our coastline.
“The events over the spring and summer clearly shook many of us. But because of the mobilisation of campaigners and charities, common sense has won and I am delighted that the dumping of this hazardous chemical will end.
“Nobody wants to see such decimation of our precious wildlife. I hope that the shipping industry will take the ruling seriously and review their practices immediately, not just when the ruling comes into force.”
“Through working together, as a bloc of 28 countries, international action can happen and we can change the world we live in for the better.”