What is POPs?
Persistent Organic Pollutants, sometimes known as ‘’forever chemicals’’ are organic compounds that are resistant to environmental degradation through chemical, biological and photolytic processes. Due to their persistence, POPs bioaccumulate with potential adverse impact on human health and the environment. The effects of POPs on human and environmental health was discussed, with intention to eliminate or severely restrict their production by the international community at the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in 2001.
How do you know if your waste contains POPs?
It is your responsibility to know if your waste contains POPs
If you are unsure you can:
- ask the supplier or manufacturer of the material
- test the material yourself to find out the concentration of any POPs in it
- have the material analysed by a laboratory
How is WEEE affected by POPs?
WEEE often has components that contains hazardous substances or POPs.
These could include:
- printed circuit boards
- plastic casings, cables and other components
- insulation foam
- cooling agents
- flame retardants
- activated glass and screen phosphors
- cathode rag tubes
- Ni – Cd batteries
If the levels of hazardous substances or POPs are over a certain amount, the item will be classified as hazardous or POPs waste.