Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL amending Annexes IV and V to Regulation (EU) 2019/1021 of the European Parliament and of the Council on persistent organic pollutants
1. The European Commission is updating the threshold limit values set in Annexes IV and V of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Regulation (EU) 2019/1021 (the ‘EU POPs regulation’) for waste containing persistent organic pollutants. This regulation implements the commitments of the EU under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, and also takes account of the 1998 Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution on Persistent Organic Pollutants. The UK is a party to the Stockholm Convention and the Protocol in its own right.
2. Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are substances that remain intact in the environment for long periods, become widely distributed geographically, bio-accumulate in the fatty tissue of humans and wildlife, and have harmful impacts on human health or on the environment. Examples of POPs include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and pesticides such as DDT.
3. Annexes IV and V of the EU POPs regulation ensure that waste is treated in a way that protects the environment and human health. Where waste contains POPs above the concentration limits set in Annex IV, it must generally be treated in a way that destroys or irreversibly transforms the POP content, rather than being recycled. Annex V lists suitable waste management operations and methods for destroying the POP content. This annex also allows for some waste to be managed in other ways, including permanent storage in undergrown mines, where it can be demonstrated that this is the environmentally preferable option.