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A Toxics-Free Future


How to Avoid Poisoning the Recycling Chain

Jindrich Petrlik RNDr., Director of Arnika's Toxic and Waste Programme (as well as IPEN Regional Hub for Central and Eastern Europe and also host of IPEN's Dioxin, PCBs and Waste Working Group) was invited to present IPEN's views on toxic recycling at the recent World Recycling Convention in Prague, Czech Republic. The invitation was extended from the International Bureau of Recyclers, based on IPEN's side event at the last Stockholm Convention Conference of the Parties.

The presentation was based mainly on IPEN / Arnika reports about brominated flame retardants (BFRs) content in Rubik's cubes and examples of the use of waste incineration fly ash and bottom ash as construction materials.

Upon receiving questions about risk assesment and statements that BFRs in plastics are bound there and therefore cannot pollute the users of such plastics, Dr. Petrlik explained that, for example, when a person plays with a Rubik's cube, BFRs can get into the surroudning evnironment simply by using the toy in the way for which it was designed. He also explained that IPEN's goal is not to stop plastic recycling, but to avoid toxic recycling.

See Dr. Petrlik's presentation here