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Chemicals have been buried for 10 years

Mustad admits that they have buried chemicals without proper treatment at their plant in the Philippines for years. The company has now started the process of solving the waste problem.

- Dependency on protecting the environment is part of the nature of this business, says the Mustad manager in Norway.

Artikkelen er mer enn to år gammel. Ting kan ha endret seg.

Mustad admits that they have buried chemicals without proper treatment at their plant in the Philippines for years. The company has now started the process of solving the waste problem.

- Dependency on protecting the environment is part of the nature of this business, says the Mustad manager in Norway.


By Harald Eraker
NorWatch

- We have to admit that we have neglected waste treatment. Most of the waste has simply been buried in the ground somewhere, says head clerk Wendy Rostad during the guided tour around Mustad's fishing gear factory outside Manila. She has not been working there long enough to be able to tell us precisely where the waste has been buried.

- One of the problems is that there is no system for waste treatment in this country. But now we have addressed the problems. Lately, people from Norway have been here to survey the use of chemicals, she says, giving NorWatch a copy of the list of chemicals.

Phased out in Norway
After the visit to the plant, NorWatch has had the environmental organisation Bellona assess the 4 pages long list.

- It depends, of course, on the quantities being used. But many of these chemicals are very poisonous or inflammable. Two of the chemicals, which both are hormone replicas, are on the list of chemicals which will be phased out in Norway, says Christian Rostock from Bellona.

"We have to admit that we have neglected waste treatment. Most of the waste has simply been buried in the ground somewhere." Mustad's head clerk Wendy Rostad

Make a living of the environment
Acting managing director Hans H. Mustad in the parent company in Gjøvik admits that everything has not been satisfactory:

- We have been down there and checked the situation several times. The conclusion was that the chemicals have not been properly locked up and treated as waste. The Philippines is not exactly an expert on waste treatment, but we have now started a process to do something about this, he says.

- With regard to the Norwegian public opinion, we focus on not polluting the water. As a producer of fishhooks, we make a living of clean water and protection of the environment. We have not been 100% aware of this in the Philippines before. We will do something about that now, Mustad ends.

Mustad in the Philippines
The private company O. Mustad & Søn, with head office in Gjøvik, Norway, produces different kinds of fishing gear at their wholly owned subsidiary Mustad Terminal Tackle Philippines Inc. The subsidary was established in 1987, and is located outside Manila. The sports fishing gear (spinners, fishhooks and flies of all kinds) are sold all over the world, but mainly in North America and Europe, including Norway.

Norwatch Newsletter 13/99

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