BIMCO is calling for “urgent adoption” of the Hong Kong International Convention for the safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, and for ship owners to be more selective about recycling yards.

BIMCO issued its message at the launch of its new industry film, “Ship Recycling: Time for Change”.

The film aims to raise awareness among global regulators, ship owners, and the public of the vast potential for the ship recycling industry to add to a sustainable global circular economy if done safely.

It was filmed partly at ship recycling yards in Alang, India. BIMCO noted India is one of the largest ship recycling nations in the world, alongside Bangladesh.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” BIMCO secretary general and CEO David Loosley said.

“The raw scrap steel from ship recycling feeds around 350 re-rolling mills that supply approximately 50% of the annual steel consumption in Bangladesh alone, and the industry creates thousands of jobs for people providing for their families,” he said.

“But ship recycling has for too long been unsafe for workers and the environment at yards that do not live up to the standards of the Hong Kong Convention. It is time for change and for ship recycling to be done the right way.”

BIMCO and other industry organisations visited Chattogram and Dhaka in Bangladesh in early May to discuss the Hong Kong Convention.

During that visit, Bangladesh confirmed its commitment to ratify the convention this year, allowing it to enter into force.

According to BIMCO estimates, more than 15,000 ships will be recycled over the next ten years, a more than 100% rise compared with the last ten years, partly due to stricter greenhouse gas regulations facing the shipping industry.

“This year, there is a window of opportunity for the Hong Kong Convention to enter into force which could positively change the face of the recycling industry forever – we must take it,” Mr Loosley said.