Today, the European Parliament has just voted to object to a Commission draft regulation that would allow for recycled PVC products to be exempt from a ban on lead. The objection, adopted by a clear majority (394/241), which was tabled by the Greens/EFA group calls for an end to toxic recycling. This is the first time the European Parliament has vetoed chemicals legislation. The Commission will now have to decide what steps to take next.
Bas Eickhout MEP, Greens/EFA initiator of the objection, comments:
"Today's vote is a victory for the environment and the fight against toxic substances. The message is loud and clear: the Parliament does not want toxic recycling. Lead is highly toxic and there is no safe level of exposure and yet this measure would have allowed thousands of tonnes of lead back into the market place. All recycled products should be held up to the same safety standards as new ones."
Lead is added as a 'stabiliser' in PVC. It is no longer used in the EU since 2015. However, hundreds of thousands of tonnes of lead have been placed on the European market in PVC products prior to 2015. These now come back in PVC waste.