POPFREE is a two year project with the overall goal to create a transition in sectors using PFAS to feasible non-fluorinated alternatives.
PFAS have unique properties that render them appealing for a wide range of applications where properties as hydrophobicity, oleophobicity or highly dispersive products allowing rapid spreading are needed. However, PFAS have a strong environmental impact, as well as negative influence on health, and increased levels of PFAS can now be detected in 144 municipal water sources in Sweden.
More than 3000 types of PFAS are commercially available on the world market. Just for one certain type of PFAS, PFOA-related substances, it is estimated that at least 100-1000 tons are manufactured and marketed in the EU every year, based on data registered in REACH. Reducing emissions of potentially hazardous and persistent chemicals beforehand is in line with the prevailing precautionary principle.
While some PFAS are already under regulation, others are targeted by a clear political agenda towards reducing their use in the market place. Since the political ambition in Europe and on a global level is quite high when it comes to PFAS phase out using legal instruments, it is crucial to work in dialogue with both companies AND authorities.
The overall aim and goal with POPFREE is to create a transition in sectors using PFAS to feasible non-fluorinated alternatives. A number of industry sectors use PFAS, thus a number of different companies were involved in stage one. During pre study, challenges were identified related to the different selected sectors. The challenges range from mismatch in function, criteria, and test methods, industry and/or consumer awareness of existing alternatives, to data gaps on for instance environmental and health impact. POPFREE aims at addressing these challenges. However, the approaches to addressing the challenges as well as the efforts required for transition from PFAS to non-PFAS use vary between the industrial sectors.
POPFREE will create a pull in the market for new alternatives thus contribute to Swedish industrial competitiveness and the governmental objective of a non-toxic environment. The Swedish consumers will drive the whole Swedish market into introducing new PFASs free products.
This will pave the way for the following introduction of PFASs free products on a global market.
Dialogue with authorities will provide the project with useful information about legal frameworks and upcoming regulations. The specific challenge concerning the global sourcing networks with different geographical regulations will also be addressed. Sharing of useful information about the ongoing work will increase the possibilities for industry partners to comply with new rules.
Project description for downloading project description POPFREE.pdf (190.29 KB)
Read about the project SUPFES.