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The EU needs stronger and more coordinated efforts to boost substitution

A new ECHA report, written by representatives from the university of Massachusetts, investigates how institutions, industries and governments in the EU work to promote substitution of hazardous chemicals. Among other things, it recommends ECHA to build infrastructures to promote substitution, to increase the collaboration around substitution and to engage expertise to support technical evaluation of alternatives.

“I believe that this work lists concrete proposals that regulators and industry should seriously consider to implement”, says Geert Dancet, ECHA’s Executive Director in a comment.

It also specifically it mentions ChemSec´s planned marketplace for alternatives as one opportunity to enhance supply chain collaboration.

“To connect stakeholders interested in new solutions and increase collaboration is of utmost importance. Therefor it is definitely time to take a step back from the academic exercises and move more towards hands-on support. We need to boost and scale up all the good work that is already taking place in many companies. This is why we are right now working hard to create our online marketplace”, says Dr Anna Lennquist ChemSec Toxicologist.

The report notes that there is a strong legal mandate within REACH and other EU regulations, emphasising the importance of substitution. At the same time very little resources are spent to assure substitution is happening. Also, existing initiatives are not coordinated enough to be used across national and language borders.

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