IPEN, Arnika and 16 European NGOs call on leaders to lower threshold values for POPs in waste, which enter recycling and waste exports
Wednesday, 22 December 2021
The problem: the European Commission currently proposes industry friendly ‘middle-ground’ POP limits for waste based on economic criteria instead of strong and health-protective values.
The European Commission (EC) is proposing to adopt new limit values for persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in waste. 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 industry in the EU. The transition to high-quality and toxic-free material cycles cannot be achieved while allowing POPs recycling in materials.
IPEN, Arnika, and 16 NGOs urge in their letter to Members of the European Parliament and Member States to support stronger limit values for POPs in waste than what the EC proposes. The weak limits currently proposed by the EC undermine the Stockholm Convention and will lead to POPs recycling that is incompatible with the European Green Deal.
European Commission Proposal for amending Annexes IV and V to the Regulation (EU) 2019/1021 of the European Parliament and of the Council on persistent organic pollutants: 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
Civil society comments and briefing for European Union Member States and Members of the European Parliament