New POPs legislation L&S Waste Management

What’s all this about POP’s?

The United Kingdom has recently introduced new legislation to regulate the production, use, and disposal of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), a group of highly toxic chemicals that pose a serious threat to human health and the environment. As part of this effort, the UK has also implemented new regulations for the disposal of soft furnishings, which can contain POPs.

Soft furnishings, such as sofas, armchairs, and mattresses, are often treated with flame retardants to reduce the risk of fire. However, many of these flame retardants contain POPs, which can leach into the environment when the soft furnishings are disposed of improperly. This can lead to contamination of soil, water, and wildlife, as well as pose a risk to human health.

Under the new regulations, soft furnishings containing POPs must be disposed of in a special hazardous waste collection or recycling facility. This includes any soft furnishings that were produced before 1985, as they may contain legacy POPs that have since been banned. The new regulations also prohibit the sale of soft furnishings containing certain types of flame retardants, including decaBDE, in order to prevent the production of new POPs.

How do I identify POPs waste?

The UK government has launched a public awareness campaign to educate the public on the proper disposal of soft furnishings containing POPs. This includes encouraging people to check the label on their soft furnishings to determine whether they contain POPs, and to contact their local council for information on how to dispose of them safely.

What if I don’t follow the new POPs rules?

It is important to note that improper disposal of soft furnishings containing POPs can result in fines and legal action. Therefore, it is essential to follow the new regulations and dispose of these items responsibly.

Why do we need new legislation on POPs?

While, the new legislation on POPs and the disposal of soft furnishings represents an important step forward in protecting human health and the environment from the dangers of these toxic chemicals, it also brings about an increase in the complexity and subsequent cost of disposal.

Do I need to separate POPs waste?

Yes. It is important to separate upholstered furniture from other waste streams otherwise the entire load may be treated (and charged as) POPs waste.

How do I check if my waste contains POPs?

If you are unsure whether your waste contains POPs then it is best to check with L&S Waste before booking a skip or caged van collection. Our helpful team can advise on whether your waste contains POPs and the likely cost of disposal.

For more information call the L&S Waste team on 01329 840000 or email

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