What are POPs?

Pops Wareham

What are POPs?

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are a group of poisonous chemical substances which break down slowly in the environment and get into the food chain as a result. These have a detrimental effect on the environment, humans and wildlife.

What items are POPs found in?

POPs are found in everyday products such as Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) and upholstered domestic seating. POPs were often used as flame retardants in electrical products for instance the plastic casings around TVs and computer monitors. POPs were also used in cables, insulating foam, IT equipment, lighting equipment, electrical tools and even some toys and leisure equipment.

Attention has recently turned to soft furnishings and waste of this kind. This includes sofas, sofa beds, armchairs, upholstered dining chairs, upholstered stools, office chairs, futons, floor and sofa cushions and beanbags. A 50kg sofa can contain as much as 1kg of POPs.* The use of POPs is now banned in the manufacture of new products but they could be present in imported furniture manufactured up until 2019.

How do I dispose of items containing POPs?

We must export any POPs waste from our site to a facility where it can be completely destroyed. For example by incineration or irreversibly transformed – usually by chemical destruction. Therefore, to help us do this we ask that you separate any of your waste which you think may contain POPs and inform us of this. We will then keep this waste segregated on site and record the information accurately. This will enable us to export this waste for destruction.

If you would like further information on POPs waste, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team.

For more information on POPs click here

Upholstered seating POPs information click here 

WEEE POPs information click here WEEE