New limits for toxic chemicals in products 'contravene' UN convention

New rules on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) will “keep millions exposed to toxic chemicals” in products containing recycled plastics, campaigners have warned after the European Parliament's environment committee accepted a compromise negotiated with EU governments.

MEPs voted by 34 to four, with four abstentions, to endorse a provisional deal with member states to tighten the EU's POPs Regulation by lowering the permitted level of a range of toxic chemicals allowed in recycled plastic. It responds to amendments to the UN's Stockholm Convention on restricting the use and production of POPs, the regulation having been last updated in 2010.

However, campaigners had warned in an open letter on the eve of the vote that a 'sum limit' approach allowing up to 500 parts per million of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in 'products and mixtures' would enable the use of recyclates containing toxic decaBDE.

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