New rules on  Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in waste 

03 January 2023

After the European Parliament and the Council reached a political agreement on the Commission proposal to introduce stricter limits for some of the most harmful chemicals in waste, on 29 December, the new Regulation on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) has entered into force.

The Regulation provides a legally binding obligation to protect human health and the environment from some of the most harmful chemicals in waste introducing, for the first time, limits for some of these chemicals in waste and tightening them for others which were already regulated. Although POPs are generally no longer used in new products, they are still found in waste resulting from disposal of some industrial and consumer products after the end of their service life.

Existing limits have been tightened for five substances and new limits have been agreed for four new substances that can be found for example in waterproof textiles and fire-fighting foams, in treated wood and others. Limiting the presence of these chemicals in waste will prevent them from re-entering the economy.

By helping boost the supply of safe, toxic-free secondary raw materials, the Regulation also plays an important role in meeting the objectives of the Circular Economy Action Plan, the Zero Pollution Action Plan and the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability.