UK consults on national plan to remove harmful chemicals from environment

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are toxic chemical substances that are slow to degrade, can accumulate in human and animal tissue and are often discovered long distances from their place of manufacture or use

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A consultation on plans to monitor, reduce and eliminate harmful chemicals from the environment has been launched by the government.

It has published the latest updates to its national plan for Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), which are toxic chemical substances that are slow to degrade, can accumulate in human and animal tissue and are often discovered long distances from their place of manufacture or use.

POPs can be found in consumer and industrial products such as electronics, textiles and furniture and can leach onto land, into the water and air.

As a signatory to the Stockholm Convention, a global treaty signed by 184 parties to protect human health and the environment from harmful POPs, the UK is required to develop a National Implementation Plan to outline the steps it has put in place to meet its obligation.

A total of 30 POPs, which fall into three broad categories, have currently been listed in the Convention: pesticides, industrial chemicals and unintentional by-products of combustion and some industrial and non-industrial processes.

Views are being sought from all stakeholders, including the chemicals industry, manufacturers of goods, importers, exporters, recyclers, users, waste industry, academics, environmental/health organisations and the public, until 14th May 2021.

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