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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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