PHUKET TOWN: Greenpeace (International) and Greenpeace (Thailand) staged a demonstration yesterday in front the incinerator plant at Koh Pii in Phuket Town. The 30 or so placard-carrying protesters started out from the Phuket Merlin Hotel, marching to a spot in front of the incinerator in Saphan Hin. There, they erected banners urging Phuket to shut down the facility. Organizers said they staged the demonstration because laboratory tests had shown a high level of heavy metals such as cadmium, copper, and lead in the ash produced by the incinerator. “For example, lead and cadmium levels were 60 times the normal background levels,” Von Hernandez, for Greenpeace (International), told the Gazette. Lead and cadmium can affect the human nervous system and may also cause cancer. Greenpeace (International) also alleged the incinerator releases deadly substances into the air, including dioxins and acid gases. “Incineration produces just an illusion of a solution,” Hernandez explained. “With an incinerator, the problem is just converted into another problem. An engineering solution is not what’s required. What’s needed is social organizing, where clean production, reduction, and source separation are the keys.” The demonstration at the incinerator was a part of Greenpeace’s “Toxic-Free Asia” campaign. Greenpeace (International) activists, who led the protest, arrived in Phuket yesterday aboard the organization’s flagship, the Rainbow Warrior.
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