(photo credit: Zalul)
Sea and waterways watchdog Zalul kicked off its newest campaign in Haifa on
Monday morning with a gala ribboncutting ceremony. Its newest target: The 5
million cubic meters of waste water being dumped from the Telma factory in the
Haifa Bay’s industrial zone into the sea every year.
In a satirical
ceremony, new Zalul head Ezer Fischler cut a ribbon over the “Telma,” thereby
inaugurating a “new stream” in Israel.
The situation regarding the waste
from the Telma factory is complex. On the one hand, the factory has a permit
from the Environmental Protection Ministry allowing it to dump specific amounts
of waste into the sea. According to its permit, it can dump 10 tons of oils, two
tons of ammonia, 4 tons of nitrogen and two tons of phosphorous into the sea a
Unilever, Telma’s Anglo- Dutch parent company, said on Monday that
it exceeded all Israeli environmental standards.
Moreover, the factory
committed in July 2009 to install a closed system to reduce its dumping by
September 1, 2010. Telma makes mayonnaise, soups and spreads.
that according to information it had obtained, the factory was not going to meet
the deadline and would continue to dump tons of waste into the sea.
ministry confirmed that the company had committed to reducing its wastewater
emissions drastically, but said it had been given another year, until September
2011, to do so.
The ministry also said it was pursuing a criminal case
against the company for polluting a Haifa beach in 2007 and that a ruling was
expected in three weeks.
Zalul called on the company’s management to stop
the dumping immediately. Zalul also called on the ministry to stop the dumping
by revoking the factory’s permit and urged the Haifa Municipality to revoke the
factory’s business license. The business license includes a list of
environmental conditions with which the factory must comply.
waste water with a permit is ‘kosher but stinks.’ It is incumbent upon a
corporation as thriving and profitable as Unilever, which owns the Telma
factory, and upon whose products many of Israel’s children grew up, not to hide
behind administrative cover in order to continue dumping waste water into the
sea at the expense of the public and the environment,” Fischler said in a
Unilever denied any wrongdoing.
“Unilever Israel, as
part of Unilever International, is committed and adheres to environmental
standards among the highest in the world, far higher than Israeli
Over the past 10 years, the company has invested vast
resources and funds to incorporate technologies to reduce the environmental
impact of its factories.
“The company’s factory in Haifa acts in
accordance with all of the relevant laws and regulations regarding dumping into
the sea and is under the constant and continuous supervision of the
Environmental Protection Ministry.
“Moreover, since 2009, a
multi-million-shekel project has been launched, initiated by the company in
conjunction with the ministry, to reduce the flow by 90 percent.
of our environmental obligations, we will continue to reduce the impact of our
factory on the environment and we would even be happy to cooperate with any
initiatives whose purpose was to promote issues related to environmental
protection,” the company said.