POPs-free initiative

POPs Webinars

Articles 9 and 10 of the Stockholm Convention call for the exchange of information on alternatives and substitutes to POPs, including by industry and professional users and through a broad range of different means of communication.

In order to assist Parties in meeting these obligations, the Secretariat has launched an initiative on POPs-free products and processes. 

The initiative seeks to encourage manufacturers and retailers of consumer products, who have phased-out POPs, to provide information on POPs-free products, on possible alternatives and substitutes and processes for introducing such alternatives and substitutes.

Pilot project

In a pilot project, two entities have agreed on a voluntary basis, to test products through a laboratory hosted by the Environment Agency of Austria

The key criteria for being a POPs-free product was that such a product did not contain or consist of chemicals listed in Annex A, B or C of the Stockholm Convention. POPs-free was defined specifically for the pilot project and was not to be used as a definition outside of the project. 

The results of the analysis determined that two products are POPs-free:

The LiceMeister® comb

The National Pediculosis Association®, a non-profit organization from the United States, submitted the LiceMeister® comb. The comb is an U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared medical device to screen, detect and remove head lice and their eggs (nits). This combing tool is used instead of applying pesticides to the hair and scalp. Of particular relevance to the Convention, the LiceMeister® comb could be considered as an alternative to pharmaceutical applications containing lindane, listed under annex A of the Convention with a specific exemption.


Paxymer™ is a flame retardant system by PP Polymer AB, a Swedish company. The system controls the burning process, limits the impact on mechanical and processing properties and does not contain brominated flame retardants and POPs listed in Annex A, B or C of the Convention. Paxymer™ is a halogen-free flame retardant material, used in a wide number of applications, that preserves polymeric properties of base polymer and is suitable for thermoplastics. 

Further information on the pilot project is available in document UNEP/POPS/COP.5/INF/34 (download PDF). 


In light of positive feedback received from different stakeholders, including governmental authorities and a wide range of companies, the Secretariat will continue consultations with stakeholders on the identification of POPs-free products and information exchanges on POPs alternatives and substitutes.

Governments, companies, consumer associations and all other interested stakeholders are invited to contact the Secretariat to obtain further information and discuss opportunities for support, collaboration and participation in activities of the POPs-free initiative.

Additional information

Information note

During the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Stockholm Convention (COP-5) a side event on opportunities for POPs phasing-out will be held on Thursday 28 April 2011. 

For further information please contact hshubber@pops.int.