Will EU MEPs allow the violation of the Stockholm Convention?

Will EU MEPs allow the violation of the Stockholm Convention?

Chemicals in Products

On Thursday, 4th of October 2018, HEJSupport and ten other NGOs sent a letter to the members of the Environment Committee of the European Parliament, expressing their concern about some of the proposed amendments and changes to the Regulation on Persistant Organic Pollutants (POPs). They will be voted on by the committee on October 10th.

The proposed recast would:

  • Authorize the recycling of waste containing POPs into new products without adequate controls, despite numerous studies showing that this practice leads to POPs contamination in consumer goods, including children’s products, hair accessories, kitchen utensils, and food packaging2 (Article 4). That provision would further undermine the EU’s goal of a circular economy by allowing the contamination of material cycles and recycled products such as toys, as demonstrated by a study of children’s toys made of recycled plastics3 (see Annex I to this letter on POPs concentration limits and recycling);
  • Violate the Stockholm Convention Article 8 by requiring socio-economic considerations for the initial proposal in order to list chemicals under the Convention (Article 8.1c, Amendment 4);
  • Violate the Stockholm Convention by allowing the manufacture or use of POPs that are banned under the Stockholm Convention, as well as setting POPs content limits that violate the ultimate objective of the Stockholm Convention “to protect human health and the environment from persistent organic pollutants”;
  • Severely restrict the ability of Member States to engage in the nomination process of a substance as a POP by requiring the use of a centralized nomination proposal dossier prepared by ECHA (Recital 15, Amendment 1);
    Prevent the EU from using the most recent scientific and technical progress action to go beyond the Convention’s baseline requirements. The Convention only covers a limited number of POPs due to the length of the international political process. It is critical that the EU can continue to proactively protects its citizens from known toxic substances (Recital 24);
  • Limit the public’s “right to know” on infringements of the provisions of the Regulation to only those cases deemed “appropriate” by each Member State, in contradiction with the public’s right to know and to participate in environmental decisions as enshrined in the Aarhus Convention (Recital 29).

Download of the letter and detailed comments on the proposed amendments

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Written by olgaalex