In an article published on November 20, 2018, by regulatory news provider Chemical Watch, correspondent Clelia Oziel informed about the results of the European Parliament’s (EP) vote on the Recast of the persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Regulation, that took place on November 15, 2018. The EP has adopted the Regulation Recast, but turned down several of the later-added amendments, including the one which proposed to increase the limit for several polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in recycled plastics to 1000 ppm.
The results of the vote have partially satisfied the requests voiced on November 12, 2018 by the 22 non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Elise Vitali, chemicals project officer at the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), commented that “the EU must oppose those trying to introduce derogations leading to toxic contamination of recycled streams by POPs.”
PBDEs, intentionally used as flame retardants, can contaminate recycled plastics due to insufficient separation of waste collection streams (FPF reported). The presence of PBDEs has been demonstrated, for example, in some children products (FPF reported) as well as in black plastic food containers (FPF reported). Another NGO report released on November 23, 2018, has also shown the presence of other POPs, such as dioxin-like compounds, in plastic toys.
In contrast to the PBDE-related amendment which was rejected, another controversial amendment was adopted by the EP. This amendment “allows short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) in high concentrations in the environment.” The 10,000 ppm POPs content level supported by the EP is much higher than a 100 ppm limit that the NGOs had called for.
Clelia Oziel (November 20, 2018). “EU Parliament shuns high POPs limit proposal in recycled plastic.” Chemical Watch
EC (March 22, 2018). “Recast of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Regulation.”
EP (October 16, 2018). “REPORT on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on persistent organic pollutants (recast) (COM(2018)0144 – C8-0124/2018 – 2018/0070(COD)).” A8-0336/2018
Clelia Oziel (November 14, 2018). “Reject proposed POPs recast changes, NGOs tell MEPs.” Chemical Watch
Arnika and 21 other NGOs (November 12, 2018). “22 civil society organizations response to the EU Recast Regulation on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) (recast of Regulation (EC) No 850/2004).” (pdf)
Cleila Oziel (October 18, 2018). “NGOs urge EU to end POPs exemptions for recycled plastics.” Chemical Watch
Petrlik, J., et al. (November 23, 2018). “Toxic soup: Dioxins in plastic toys.” Arnika