Watch out! Hidden poisons in recycled plastics
Ikea, Electrolux, Adidas, Procter & Gamble, Trifilon… There are more and more examples of companies looking at how to use the mountains of recycled plastics available. It's a worthwhile effort, but with an underdeveloped infrastructure (in which China used to take care of things), we're now and then surprised by what chemicals we find in recycled plastic streams. A recent report by the Swedish Consumers' Association titled "Toxic Loophole" claims brominated flame retardants - chemicals used in furniture which are found in humans all over the world and strongly suspected to disrupt endocrines and to affect neurological behavior - were found in toys and kitchen utensils! The chemicals are strictly forbidden in virgin plastics but not in recycled. The report points out the loopholes in regulation about recycled plastics. The research institute Swerea was just granted funding for a comprehensive survey and analysis of the chemicals found in recycled plastics. We're not giving up on upcycling plastics, but we are stepping up our screening efforts of recycled streams. No one should have to worry if their children will skip puberty.