Advice and answers from the ISM Waste & Recycling Team
Posted: 10th January 2023

Environment Agency Regulations for Waste Containing Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

Whilst the Persistent Organic Pollutants Regulations (POPs) have been in place since 2007, the Environment Agency has now clarified that it will be measuring waste compliance against these regulations.

The Environment Agency says it will carry out assessments of compliance across the waste management sector from 1st January 2023.

old sofa containing POPs
Examples of items that contain POPs include waste sofas, armchairs and all upholstered seating.

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) remain intact in the environment for long periods, and if not disposed of properly become widely distributed geographically. They accumulate in the fatty tissue of humans and wildlife and have harmful impacts on human health and on the environment.

The Environment Agency has undertaken an investigation and confirmed the widespread presence of very large quantities of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and other hazardous chemicals in both the textiles and foam of upholstered domestic seating.

The law requires that POPs in waste are destroyed to prevent lasting environmental harm and impacts on the food chain. This means waste containing POPs must be incinerated and must not be re-used, recycled or landfilled.

As part of this clarification, the Environment Agency has stated that the landfilling of wastes suspected of containing POPs, this includes:

  • Sofas
  • Sofa beds
  • Armchairs
  • Kitchen and dining room chairs
  • Stools and footstools
  • Home office chairs
  • Futons
  • Beanbags, floor and sofa cushions

Also, any part made of or containing leather, synthetic leather, other fabric or foam will be prohibited from 1st January 2023. This includes waste derived from the treatment of POPs contaminated material.

Need Compliant Disposal of Waste Containing POPs?

Here at ISM Waste & Recycling, we are a fully licenced and environmentally responsible waste management company. We believe in providing the most reliable waste management services at affordable prices for all of our customers.

Since the introduction of the new legislation, we have been working to find solutions for our customers needing to dispose of waste containing POPs. We now have a system in place that complies with the new POPs legislation. Please call the office on 01706 823001 for more information and pricing for disposing of waste containing POPs.

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