On 18 June, Vice reported that drug makers in Belgium and the Netherlands are poisoning nature reserves and damaging wastewater plants. The articles refers to the discovery in March of the largest-ever “drug pit” – hidden trenches used by the country’s large-scale MDMA and speed producers to dump tonnes of toxic waste from illicit drug labs;said to be one of many new ways drug gangs in the Netherlands and Belgium are disposing of the toxic waste. Drugs gangs are increasingly resorting to dumping chemicals in more remote, pristine nature reserves and forests in order to escape detection. There has been use of manure pits, leading to residues ending up on crops, and drug waste is also being flushed in huge amounts into sewage systems. It is said that a 2017 study estimated that for 1 kg of MDMA and amphetamines, respectively between 6-10 kg and 10-20 kg of chemical waste is produced; and that the amount of drug waste produced in drug labs in the Netherlands to be around could be around 7,000 tonnes a year, while in Belgium it is thought to be at least 1,500 tonnes.
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