The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), which entered into force in 2004, requires that member countries phase out POPs and prevent their import or export. Parties to the Convention are also required to undertake the following responsibilities:

  • Develop and implement appropriate strategies to identify stockpiles, products and articles in use that contain or are contaminated with POPs.
  • Manage stockpiles and wastes in an environmentally sound manner.
  • Dispose of waste in a way that destroys or irreversibly transforms POPs content.
  • Prohibit recycling, recovery, reclamation, direct re-use or alternative use of POPs.
  • Endeavour to develop strategies to identify contaminated sites and perform eventual remediation in an environmentally sound manner.

A National Implementation Plan has been developed and it will be reviewed in light of the Waste Act and finalised in 2012.

Furthermore, a study has been initiated to investigate the extent of manufacture, use, import and export of new POPs listed in this convention. The study will determine if South Africa should ratify the newly added POPs. This document will be finalised in 2012.