Sir David Attenborough’s “Blue Planet” television series and Wildlife Biologists Liz Bonnin’s “Drowning in Plastic” documentary highlight the dramatic effect plastics are having on our planet.

Responsible redundant IT equipment recycling is at the forefront of the Environment Agency’s latest 2020-2021 legislation.

WEEE containing plastics, with a high level of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) must now be treated as a hazardous waste.

POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) are potentially hazardous substances which can affect the environment and human health if they escape. Chemicals such as bromine have been used in plastic for electrical items due to their flame retardant properties.

POPs may be present in any IT equipment that contains a Printed Circuit Board, cables or plastic bezel and if such equipment cannot be reused or remarketed it must be classified as hazardous waste.

The Environment Agency state; “The POPs present in the plastics of waste display devices and small mixed WEEE must be destroyed (or irreversibly transformed). You are not allowed to recycle these plastics.”

In order to comply with this latest legislation Recycle IT 4U will have to carry out greater sorting and separation activities of what is now deemed potentially hazardous plastic derived from WEEE.

Currently the only route for the treatment of plastics containing POPs is through high temperature incineration – of which there is very little capacity in the UK and it is an expensive operation. These such items cannot be recycled or remarketed.

Over the coming weeks we will be advising customers of changes that will have to be made in redundant equipment collection procedures to ensure all of our customers understand the new legislation and are able to comply with the EA legislation.