19 Nov 2018
On 15 November 2018 the European Parliament voted in favour of a very low threshold for a frequently used brominated flame retardant Deca-BDE in plastics that have been used in electronic and electrical products and waste. This brominated flame retardant was listed as “new” POP in the last meeting COP of the Stockholm Convention. The substance was listed in REACH earlier last year with a threshold of 1000 ppm based upon an Impact Assessment.
Yesterday, however, a recast proposal of the EU POP regulation with a 100-fold reduction of this threshold has been voted for in the European Parliament. If this vote would indeed be converted into law, it will have devastating environmental effects and implies that the recycling of E-waste plastics in the EU will come to an end. On many occasions and in direct dialogues with Members of the European Parliament EERA expressed that recyclers can perfectly deal with the REACH threshold but that due to non-existent validated measuring protocols thresholds below 1000 ppm will end the recycling of the potential volume of 1.2 million tonnes E-waste plastics. Consequently it means that the targets set for E-Waste recycling and the targets of the EU plastics strategy cannot be met and it would be in clear contradiction with the objectives of a Circular Economy.
EERA therefore sets high hopes in the trilogue discussions that will take place soon and expects that factual technical debates will lead to more realistic results.
The European Electronics Recyclers Association (EERA) is a non-profit organization that promotes the interest of recycling companies who are treating waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in Europe. EERA members include the largest electronics recyclers in Europe who, together process over 2 million tons of WEEE annually.