On the world’s largest ship graveyard in Alang, Gujarat, Two UK cruise ships The Marco Polo and the Magellan got scrapped despite assurances that they would continue to be operated. They were sold in an auction to buyers outside the UK, but later were sold as scrap for double its price.
An investigation by the BBC’s File on 4 programme found at least 13 other ships, mostly cargo ships, linked to the UK had arrived at the scrapping beaches of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh since the start of 2020.
Ships at the end of their lives are considered hazardous waste and it is illegal to send them to developing countries from the UK. Each year around 800 ships come to the end of their lives and need to be broken apart and recycled. Around 70 per cent of the world’s ships end up on the beaches of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh as these yards offer much higher prices for scrap steel.