What Are POPs?

In certain WEEE markets (e-scrap to our USA and Canadian customers) such as the United Kingdom POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) are a hot topic in the industry.

The UK authorities in 2019 completed their own analysis of the material containing POPs in plastics, printed circuit boards and cables (before proceeding to look at POPs in construction waste, furniture, clothing and end of life vehicles). WEEE was one of their first focus areas for POPs due to good connections and communication routes through trade associations with producer compliance schemes, manufacturers, government agencies and the recyclers.

World Health Organisation description of POP’s

“Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are chemicals of global concern due to their potential for long-range transport, persistence in the environment, ability to bio-magnify and bio-accumulate in ecosystems, as well as their significant negative effects on human health and the environment.”

Flame retardants contain POPs which are added to improve the product characteristics of plastics. In the UK plastics containing POPs are now classed as hazardous waste (the same classification and notifications as CRT glass) and have to be separated from plastics that do not contain them. Plastics containing POPs have to be sent for incineration with waste to energy recovery.

Televisions, computer monitors and other display devices

Components such as screens, circuit boards, batteries or any plastic parts may contain hazardous chemicals or POPs.

Waste descriptionWaste statusHouseholdIndustrial or commercial
Cathode ray tube (CRT), flatscreen (plasma or LCD) containing POPsHazardous and POPs20-01-35*16-02-13*

This effects the way recyclers can process all electrical waste including flat panel displays and they have to ensure that plastics (as well as cables and printed circuit boards) from electrical waste are all separated, documented and with paperwork audit trials provided to the relevant agencies to prove the correct handling, documentation, separation and disposal of POPs containing material.

World Health Organisation – Human Exposure to POPs

“Human exposure – for some compounds and scenarios, even to low levels of POPs – can lead, among others, to increased cancer risk, reproductive disorders, alteration of the immune system, neurobehavioural impairment, endocrine disruption, genotoxicity and increased birth defects.”

At FPD Recycling we are working with other equipment manufacturers and can automatically separate POPs plastics after the flat panel display has been processed through the FPD PRO as well as recovering other hazards such as mercury and the liquid crystal display.

Our automated robotic equipment for processing flat panel displays from 11” to 70” irrespective of their age or type can be processed using one operative and 60 units per hour.

With our machine learning technology we automatically scan and record the weight, make, model and serial number of the unit enabling the FPD Pro to collect and build data on products containing POPs.

This legislation will also in time move to other markets and jurisdictions throughout Europe, Canada and the US.

To ensure that you have a compliant process for flat panel displays and plastics containing POPs contact FPD Recycling for solutions at sales@garym27.sg-host.com, EU +353.. USA +1 323 580 6272 or visit our web site at www.garym27.sg-host.com

(Further information can be found on POPs – https://www.gov.uk/how-to-classify-different-types-of-waste/electronic-and-electrical-equipment and https://www.who.int/foodsafety/areas_work/chemical-risks/pops/en/)

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