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Port to capture methyl bromide emissions

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/05/2017

Shipping containers are pictured at Ports of Auckland. © Phil Walter/Getty Images Shipping containers are pictured at Ports of Auckland. The use of methyl bromide by Ports of Auckland will not stop but will now be totally recaptured to protect staff and the environment.

With a desire to be the most sustainable port in the country, the company will require all methyl bromide gas - used to fumigate containers to kill pests that may be hiding among cargo, such as fruit - to be recaptured by the end of this year.

Ports of Auckland chief executive Tony Gibson says the gas was very effective but toxic to humans and depleted the ozone layer.

At Ports of Auckland both containers and loose cargo are fumigated by pumping the gas into a container or a tarpaulin covering the freight.

After fumigation, the gas is vented to the atmosphere and it is this last stage that will be stopped.

Ports of Auckland will use heat treatment instead to fumigate, but Mr Gibson said methyl bromide is still necessary in some cases.

"Every step we take to reduce our emissions takes us closer to our ambitious goal of having zero emissions by 2040," he said.

Ports of Auckland used 5.3 tonnes of methyl bromide in 2015.

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