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January 5, 2006

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The Shipbreakers of Bangladesh

Check out this cool photo essay on’s something very Tatooine-like about those huge rusted hulks towering over the sand…

Also Bangla-riffic: Eliza Griswold’s recent primer on the rise of militant Islam in the ‘desh.

Posted January 5, 2006 at 11:21 | Comments (1) | Permasnark
File under: Briefly Noted, Society/Culture


It's hard to think of a more intriguing picture of industrial ecology. Two-hundred thousand Bangladeshi workers decompose tankers into thousands (millions?) of tons of steel, furnishing 80% of the nation's steel needs. Then women and children get the final scraps, again to be sold to local merchants.

Harvesting grocery-store-style plastic bags from the rivers is another major undertaking that represents huge-scale recycle/reuse. At some level, these endeavors must qualify as environmental enterprises. Even if the tanker deconstruction was not completed in the most sanitary or energy-efficient manner, quite a bit of both energy and land-use costs are avoided by reusing all of that metal.

Posted by: Dan on January 5, 2006 at 12:29 PM
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