Regulation on Persistent Organic Pollutants
Preliminary political agreement reached
SW – 07/2022
European Parliament and the European Council have reached a preliminary
political agreement on the revision of the Regulation (EU) 2019/1021 on persistent organic pollutants (POPs
organic pollutants (POPs) are chemicals that remain in the environment
for long periods of time, accumulate in food chains and can harm human health
and the environment. These include, for example, pesticides (such as DDT),
industrial chemicals (such as polychlorinated biphenyls, which were widely used
in electrical equipment) and by-products generated by industrial
processes, decomposition or combustion (e.g. dioxins and furans).
POPs are no longer used in new products, they can still be found in waste from
consumer products such as waterproof textiles, furniture, plastics and
electronics. In recycling management, where waste is increasingly used as a
secondary raw material, it is crucial to limit the occurrence of POPs in waste.
preliminary agreement provides for stricter concentration limits for a number
of substances or groups of substances in waste, in some cases also a gradual
reduction of the values. In addition to the tightening of concentration limits
in Annex IV and V of the POPs Regulation, further chemicals are to be added to
the list of POPs.
limits must be reviewed and reassessed five years after the Regulation enters
into force. The European Commission is required to consider whether EU waste
legislation needs to be amended to classify waste containing POPs in
concentrations above the limits set out in Annex IV of the POPs Regulation as
European Commission has published its Proposal for the revision of Annexes IV and V
of the POPs Regulation on 28 October 2021. The proposal is a further step towards
creating an economy with stronger focus on recycling management and should
contribute to achieving the zero-pollutant target of the European Green Deal
and the Sustainable Chemicals Strategy.
proposal, the European Commission also wants to ensure that the EU meets its
international obligations, in particular to the Stockholm Convention on
Persistent Organic Pollutants.
combat the hazards posed by POPs, the international community has concluded
several agreements to reduce and eliminate these substances, including the
Stockholm Convention, which entered into force in 2004. The Parties to the
Convention undertake to take measures to eliminate or reduce the release of
POPs into the environment. In Europe, the Stockholm Convention is
implemented by the POPs Regulation.
political agreement must now be formally confirmed by the European Parliament
and the European Council.