The new compliance requirements on items containing persistent organic pollutants (POPs) was introduced in December 2022 and takes effect between now and December 2024.
What are POPs
POPs are chemicals often used as flame retardants and were highly used in seating units that contain textiles, foams and other padding types prior to 2019. The compliance guidance issued relates to seating from domestic and business sources and includes upholstered items such as:
- Desk chairs
- Dining chairs
- Kitchen chairs
- Sofas, sofa beds and futons
- Foot stools
- Floor cushions
*The current compliance guidance does not apply to beds and mattresses, carpets and seating that is not upholstered.
How to ensure you are compliant
The guidance requires the waste producer and their waste management service provider to ensure the following:
- The waste producer identifies the wastes they produce that contain or are likely to contain POPs
- The waste producer should take all reasonable efforts to avoid co-mingling of POPs waste and other waste streams
- The waste carrier takes POPs identified wastes to incineration only. (Landfilling and recycling of these wastes is prohibited)
- The waste carrier is required to put in place separation and pre-treatment systems for POPs contaminated wastes by no later than December 2024
- In collecting and managing waste, the waste carrier should prevent the contamination of non-POPs containing waste and identified POPs containing waste
- Both waste producer and waste carrier are required to prevent damage to POPs contaminated items in presentation, collection and management
*If waste streams destined for regular collections are identified as containing POPs contaminated materials, they may not be collected at that time, and you may incur additional costs in arranging new collections and treatment.
How can GD help
- Our teams of experts and local teams are here to help customers to understand the new obligations under the updated compliance guidance requirements
- We are helping customers to ensure minimum disruption to scheduled waste collections
- We are adapting our relevant facilities and procedures to ensure that we manage POPs waste with full compliance during the transitional period and to meet the transitional deadline of December 2024
These work streams are designed to ensure your:
- Peace of mind
- Avoid disruption to your current collection or disposal services
- Provide the new service required to keep you compliant in the future.
These new controls allow items that contain POPs to be re-used and not incinerated. Please think before you throw away!
Full guidance is available in the link below
As a business, you are responsible under section 34(7) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA). You have a duty of care to know the nature of the waste you produce and to adequately describe it to your waste management service providers so they can manage it appropriately and responsibly.