VIDEO: Movie highlights hidden dangers of Arctic waste

A film depicting the challenges of dealing with waste in the extreme environment of Greenland, where the population's health is being affected by unsafe disposal of hazardous materials, has been produced.

Only 25 % of household waste in the Arctic country is delivered to recycling stations because of the huge distances and costs involved. Consequently, much of it is landfilled just outside city or settlement limits.

Materials aren’t separated out which means that household waste is often mixed with more hazardous waste types like batteries, leftover paint, nail polish or chemicals. This can have an impact on public health as they enter the air through incineration or seep out of landfills which often lack protective layers to avoid leakage.

Chemicals can also seep down towards the coastal waters where Arctic people catch the fish, shrimp and sea mammals which make up a large part of their diet. The film considers this complex situation, proposing solutions which allow Greenlanders to manage waste without damaging their natural environment.

The short movie, which is 12 minutes long, is entitled ‘Mission Greenland – for a cleaner future’ and was produced by the European Environment Agency (EEA). The EEA hopes it will inspire residents, in particular youth and children in Greenland and across the Arctic region, to change their behaviour.

The movie can be watched here

Maxine Perella

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