By European Plastics News staff
Brussels -- There has been "a significant overall reduction in potential emissions of flame retardants to the environment" due to a voluntary industry programme, according to the European Flame Retardant Association (EFRA).
The Voluntary Emissions Control Action Programme (VECAP) is a product stewardship scheme that EFRA evolved from a Code of Practice set up in 2004 which covers producers and users of flame retardants.
The latest VECAP European Annual Progress Report indicates a large overall reduction in potential emissions, "representing the most significant achievement in the programme since its beginning," said EFRA.
The association said: "Testimony to the success of the scheme is the reduction of tetrabromobisphenol-A's (TBBPA) potential land emissions to zero and the drop in potential water and air emissions to the lowest achievable level, demonstrating a good uptake in Best Available Techniques by users."
EFRA's development of the VECAP programme led to a better understanding of user disposal practices, it said, which in turn has resulted in a significant drop in potential emissions of decabromodiphenyl ether (Deca-BDE) to land. Potential emissions to air have also progressively decreased over the last four years.
In another flame-retardant material, EFRA said implementation of best practices in handling hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) packaging waste by a large majority of users has also resulted in lower potential emissions to land.
The report also shows the number of sites meeting VECAP guidelines and obtaining third-party certification has grown from five to ten.