New limits for organic pollutants in waste

On 28 October, the European Commission adopted a proposal to eliminate Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) present in waste. The proposal, in line with the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, tightens the limits for these harmful chemicals in waste: as POPs can still be found in waste, they may re-enter the economy when it is recycled and the resulting materials are used in new products.

POPs are toxic chemicals that accumulate in the food chain and remain in the environment for a long period of time. With this proposal, the European Commission wants to prevent harming human health and to protect the environment, thus delivering on the European Green Deal.

The following three substances (or group of substances) are targeted in the proposal:

  • perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and its salts and related compounds;
  • dicofol;
  • pentachlorophenol, its salts, and esters.


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