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On 14th November 2019, ClientEarth, together with many other environmental organisations, have written to national governments to dissuade them from opening the gate to a toxic circular economy.
In the context of a new restriction of lead in PVC, the Commission is proposing national governments to allow a much higher level of lead in recycled PVC compared to virgin PVC.
Lead is a famously highly toxic chemical which can impair neurobehavioral function, particularly as a result of childhood or foetal exposure and is linked to lower intelligence quotient (IQ).
The letter calls on national governments to reject such double standard because:
(1) the proposal relies on flawed assumptions to conclude that recycling PVC containing lead will have a beneficial environmental and health impact;
(2) as a matter of fact a higher level of lead in recycled PVC goes against the EU objective to transition towards a circular economy;
(3) recycling is not an adequate waste management option for PVC containing lead.