In order to assist developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition in meeting their obligations under the Stockholm Convention, the POPs-free programme was initiated in 2010 to facilitate work on the identification of POPs-free products and the exchange of information on alternatives and substitutes to POPs. The programme also seeks to involve industry into the implementation of the Convention and to reduce the use of exemptions.

Activities were initiated by a pilot project presented to the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention in April 2011. Participants expressed support for the initiative and asked that further information be presented at the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties.

In the intersessional period between the fifth and the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention, the secretariat will continue to explore opportunities for the promotion of exchanges and alternatives to POPs and related industry best practices in specific sectors and applications. Initial research on several industry sectors and the phase-out of POPs in products will pave the way for the organization of a workshop and preparation of a publication.