Guidance

Storing persistent organic pollutants (POPs)

When you must tell the Environment Agency that you're storing material containing persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and how to do it.

The manufacture, sale and use of products containing persistent organic pollutants (POPs) is banned.

You can only store (‘stockpile’) material that contains POPs if you have a legal use for it, under exceptions to the POPs ban.

You’re responsible for knowing if your material contains POPs and if it’s exempt from the ban. If you’re not sure you can:

  • ask the suppliers or manufacturers of the material
  • test the material yourself to find out the concentration of any POPs in it
  • get the material analysed by a laboratory

You must dispose of materials that contain POPs that isn’t exempt from the ban as soon as possible.

Report stockpiles to the Environment Agency

You must tell the Environment Agency if at any time you store more than 50kg of material containing POPs within your business, ie across all the sites that you operate.

Any material that contains a POP counts towards your 50kg limit, no matter how low the concentration of the POP within the material.

If you take material out of storage to use it, it still counts towards your 50kg limit as long as it remains within your business.

For example if you take material containing perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) out of storage to use in a manufacturing process, the material still counts towards your 50kg limit if you carry out the manufacturing process within your business. It doesn’t count towards your 50kg limit, if you supply the material to another business that carries out the manufacturing process.

You don’t need to tell the Environment Agency if you’re storing less than 50kg of material containing POPs.

When you have to make a report

You must tell the Environment Agency that you’re storing POPs within 6 months if you exceed the 50kg limit.

You must then update the Environment Agency every year if your business continues to store more than 50kg of material containing POPs.

If you exceed the 50kg reporting threshold because a new substance has been added to the POP list, you must send a notification to the Environment Agency within 12 months of the addition of the new substance to the list.

What you need to report

You must provide the following information to the Environment Agency each time you submit a report:

  • each type of material containing POPs that you store or use
  • the quantity of each of those materials, or estimated maximum quantities if they change regularly
  • the common name and CAS or EC number of each POP contained in the material that you store or use - you can find CAS and EC numbers in the list of POPs
  • the concentration of each POP in each material that it’s present in, in a specified unit per kg
  • the location of each material if you operate more than one site - for each site include the full address, grid reference and environmental permit number (if the site has an environmental permit)
  • the legal use of each of the materials containing POPs that you store - find out about legal uses of material containing POPs

You also need to include your company’s:

  • contact details
  • registered address
  • environmental permit number (if you have an environmental permit)

How to make a report

When you first inform the Environment Agency that you’re storing POPs, and every year when you update them, complete a POP stockpile notification form and email it to chemicalrestrictions@environment-agency.gov.uk.

Alternatively you can send them by post to:

Chemical Compliance Team,
Waste and Industry Regulatory Service,
Environment Agency,
Quadrant 2,
99, Parkway Avenue,
Sheffield.
S9 4WF

Contacts

For further information contact the Environment Agency:

Email: chemicalrestrictions@environment-agency.gov.uk
Telephone: 03708 506 506

Find out about call charges.

Legislation

The European Commission’s regulation on persistent organic pollutants is implemented in the UK by the Persistent Organic Pollutants Regulations 2007.

Published 27 March 2015