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A Toxics-Free Future


NGOs Urge Immediate Action to Stop Toxic Recycling

A recent analysis (by IPEN, Arnika and other NGOs) of consumer products sold in Brazil, Canada, Cambodia, EU and Japan made from recycled plastics has revealed toxic flame-retardant contamination in some children's toys, hair accessories, office supplies, kitchen utensils and other plastic products. Brazil, Canada, the European Union, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Turkey are 7 out of 182 Parties to the Stockholm Convention that registered a recycling exemption for toxic polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), which are persistent organic pollutants (POPs), after they were banned under the Stockholm Convention in 2004. The exemption has permitted recycling of materials such as plastics from discarded computers and other products containing PBDEs in the recycling stream for the past ten years, and will allow it to continue until 2030. Via letters, environmental health organizations are urging the seven governments to end the practice and withdraw the recycloing exemptions because the resulting contamination of the recycling stream allows banned chemicals in products and poses a threat to public health, particularly children's health.

See the letters to Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, the European Union, Japan and the Republic of Korea here.  

NGOs encourage the Parties to announce their withdrawals of the recycling exemptions for TetraBDE, PentaBDE, HexaBDE and HeptaBDE at the upcoming 9th Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention beginning 29 April in Geneva, Switzerland.