Thirty tons of clinical waste from Scottish hospitals was reported missing after the collapse of Lanarkshire-based disposal contractor HES last year and the Scottish Government has been urged to investigate whether clinical waste including body parts could have been exported to Sri Lanka.
Labour MSP Monica Lennon has written to Health Secretary Jeane Freeman after 100 shipping containers from the UK containing toxic materials were discovered at the port of Colombo.
The sickening cargo is understood to have been mixed with legitimate recyclable material that had been sent to south Asia for processing. About 30 tons of clinical waste from Scottish hospitals was reported missing after the collapse of Lanarkshire-based disposal contractor HES last year.
The company was stripped of its NHS contract in December after huge stockpiles built up at its base in Shotts.
Shadow health secretary Lennon’s letter, which has also been sent to the SNP’s Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham, has called for action to establish whether any Scottish waste could have ended up leaving the UK.
It states: “It is understood that Sri Lankan authorities discovered more than 100 shipping containers filled with hospital waste, body parts, mattresses and plastics originating from the UK and that some of the containers have been in the country for more than two years.
“This is troubling news and the Scottish public would be horrified if clinical waste from Scotland has ended up in Sri Lanka, or indeed in any other country. I would be grateful, therefore, if you could confirm when the Scottish Government became aware of the Sri Lanka-UK clinical waste scandal, what information ministers have received and what action you and your officials have taken in response.”
This is not impossible, but surely very, very improbable. However, it gives an opportunity for politicians and the Scottish Daily Record to emblazon their pages with a shock horror story like this!