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Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and ELVs

1.       Background information

Regulation (EC) No 850/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) sets the rules for managing waste containing POPs substances. According to Article 7 of the Regulation, producers and holders of waste shall undertake all reasonable efforts to avoid, where feasible, contaminating recyclable waste with POPs substances listed in Annex IV. Furthermore, Article 18 of the Waste Framework Directive stipulates that Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that hazardous waste is not mixed, either with other categories of hazardous waste or with other waste, substances or materials. Mixing is understood to include diluting hazardous substances.


2.       Key issue

Some stakeholders mention that, for the recycling industry managing ELVs, it is currently difficult to identify and remove all POPs-containing ELV components before compressing and crushing vehicles. Circuit boards, car seats and other plastic components inside the vehicle may contain tetra, penta, hexa or hepta bromodiphenyl ethers (PBDEs), which are POPs. Vehicles manufactured in 2000 or before may also contain PBDEs. However, it is expected that only approximately 29% of ELVs will be an issue after 2015 and the share will decrease to 5% by 2020[1]