Lithuania rocked by Baltic pollution scandal
Lithuanian investigators last week uncovered an environmental pollution scandal: cardboard producer Grigeo Klaipėda has been releasing untreated wastewater into the Caronian Lagoon for years. The media points to the stark contrast between the reaction of the citizens and companies and that of the authorities.
Red cards that hit where it hurts
A boycott movement has formed since the scandal was uncovered, Delfi is pleased to report:
“The economic community has shown the lagoon polluters the red card of its own accord, without being forced by anyone. The decision by [supermarket chains] Iki, Norfa and Senukai to stop buying from Grigeo was a real novelty. But even that wasn't the most painful jab. Five furniture companies, including SBA baldų kompanija and Vilniaus baldai, which produce on behalf of Ikea, have suspended purchases of Grigeo Klaipėda products until further notice. ... The factory is threatened with producing for its warehouse, which is a real crisis scenario. And what will buyers in the rest of the EU have to say?”
Authorities burying their heads in the sand
Lietuvos rytas explains how this environmental scandal has been swept under the carpet for decades:
“The environmental protection officers who were called in for the investigation into the secret illegal pipes through which production waste was discharged into the lagoon and the Baltic Sea were not from Klaipėda but from Šiauliai [170 kilometres away]. Incidentally, the investigation only began when the local community finally turned to the highest authorities in Vilnius after years of futile complaints about the stench. ... But the officials claim that not only did they have no knowledge of the environmental disaster that has been worsening for almost a decade, but that they had no means of finding out about it.”