An opportunity for the EU to prevent toxic recycling and contamination of the circular economy through the substantial strengthening of limit values for POPs in waste
The European Commission (EC) is proposing to adopt
new limit values for persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
in waste. POPs are the most toxic and persistent chemicals ever studied and include dioxins (PCDD/Fs), PCBs or
some PFAS and brominated flame retardants (PBDEs).
The Stockholm Convention requires the destruction of
wastes that exceed POPs limit values (known as Low
POP Content Levels set by the Basel Convention) and bans
the recycling of wastes contaminated with POPs to maintain
toxic-free material cycles. However, the EC is proposing
weak POP limits, which will allow plastic and other wastes
contaminated with POPs to be, in practice, recycled by the
industry in the EU. The transition to high-quality and toxicfree material cycles cannot be achieved while allowing POPs
recycling in materials.
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