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What are POPs?

picture of settee arm chair

Identify and Classify waste containing Persistent Organic Pollutants ( pops ) 

Persistent organic pollutants ( pops ) 

What are POPs? these are a group of organic compounds that have toxic properties and pose a risk to your health and the environment. These chemicals do not break down in the environment. They do remain intact for an exceptionally long period of time.

Manufacturers are now banned from the use or sale of products containing POPs. Manufacturers in the UK stopped producing items containing POPS in 2011, although imported furniture to the UK still contained POPS as late as 2019.

Where are pops found? 

Upholstered Furniture. 

The Furniture affected includes all upholstered waste, Sofa’s, Sofa beds, Armchairs, Kitchen dining chairs, Stools and Footstools, Futons Home office chairs, Bean bags, and sofa cushions. 

This also includes items covered in or containing, Leather, Synthetic leather, Foam, and other fabrics

What does this mean? 

These items contain hazardous chemicals and must be separated from other waste. These hazardous items must be sent for incineration. The items must be shredded prior to incineration. The shredding must take place undercover and not out in the open. These items cannot be landfilled with normal waste. 

When does this come into action?

This came into action from the 1st of January 2023 

Who will this affect?

Anyone wishing to dispose of old furniture or reuse schemes such as charities. Only items that require a minor repair will be considered safe to reuse/sell. A minor repair is considered to be for example an old settee with a broken wooden leg, that is easily repairable. An example of a major repair would a sofa that is not structurally sound (for example, it’s collapsed in the middle) The sofa is no longer fit for purpose. The repair would include stripping the upholstery, lining and foam.

Can I still add these items to a skip?

This is a very good question, as this is a new legislation many skip suppliers are trying to find solutions to the problem. Some suppliers are not taking them at all, others are charging per item or per tonne. It really is down to the individual skip company how these will be handled. It’s best to check with us first if you do have POPs that you want to put into a skip. We will find out from our suppliers how they handle this type of waste. We will always look to source you the best option to suit your needs. Please call on 0800 019 4530, live chat with us or email us [email protected] If you are looking for a quote for a skip not containing any POPs you can get an instant quote

What items do not contain POP’s

The following items of domestic seating are unlikely to contain POPs:

items that are not upholstered, eg, a wooden chair without a cushioned or textile back, seat, or arms, deckchairs, wastes from manufacturing new domestic seating that the manufacturer can demonstrate do not contain POPs

Mattresses, curtains, blinds and beds are not domestic seating and are not covered by this guidance.

For further information on any of the above, Please click on the links below for more information regarding POPs