The European Commission has published a report outlining proposed End-of-Waste criteria for waste plastics intended for conversion into recycled plastics products. The report indicates that “Most additives in use [in plastics] are not known to have environmental or health risks” but cites as identified as having environment/health risks “a few problem substances” including some halogenated flame retardants.
The report notes that measures are already in place to identify and separate plastics containing halogenated FRs: these measures include the obligation to remove plastics containing brominated FRs from any separately collected electrical / electronics waste (EU WEEE Directive), non-mixing of such plastics (EU End of Life Vehicle Directive), classification in “Category C” of plastic waste containing halogenated FRs (in the UK). The report suggests that this separation is adequate to ensure safety of recycling of plastics containing flame retardants, subject to respecting legislation on hazardous materials, substances of very high concern and POP’s.
European Commission Joint Research Centre “Technical proposals, End-of-waste criteria for waste plastic for conversion”, October 2014, ISBN 978-92-79-40944-8 http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/111111111/33010/1/2014-jrc91637%20.pdf