The container filled with dirty air that Public Eye is returning to the sender Trafigura has arrived in Antwerp. The “Return to Sender” campaign has drawn attention to the illegitimate business practices of Swiss commodity trading companies which exploit existing double standards to sell toxic fuel in Africa that would never be allowed at the pump in Europe.
Political debate in ARA region
The Dirty-Diesel campaign has sparked a broad debate not only in concerned countries in Africa, but also in Switzerland and the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) zone. The ARA region is where the production as well as the export of toxic „African Quality“ fuel is concentrated. Swiss companies are at the forefront of the business: they have invested massively in the ARA region, own storage facilities and refineries. Moreover, they dominate the supply from ARA to West Africa.
The Dirty Diesel campaign has shed some light onto little known and very opaque business practices which can no longer be ignored by authorities and policy-makers. The Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade, Lilianne Ploumen, called these practices „a grave scandal“ and said the companies involved should be ashamed. Nevertheless, the Amsterdam Port Authorities have so far refused to take action. However, the final word has not yet been spoken. Today, the issue will be discussed by the City Council of Amsterdam. The port is owned by the city of Amsterdam.
Trafigura remains silent
Self-proclaimed sustainability leader Trafigura continues to remain silent on the issue. The company prefers to hide behind the double standards and the fact that their toxic fuels are legal in Africa. To date, close to 17,000 people have signed the petition asking Trafigura to only sell fuels of European quality from now on.
Sign the petition and share it on social media!
The container filled with dirty air from Accra will now be loaded onto a train and will continue its journey towards Geneva where it will be handed over to Trafigura together with the petition.