The circular economy forces us to focus on the hazardous properties of chemicals. To neglect this and instead talk about the risk of exposure is close to absurd. Surprisingly, some parts of the chemical industry still do this. It’s time for a change of mind.
Hoogenboezem-Fisher is the name of a made-up PR & lobby firm and the setting of an awareness campaign by NGO ChemSec, released in May 2021.
H&M Group outlines its position on chemicals and circular economy.
Over the last decade, the majority of people engaging with ChemSec have been based in the US. So we thought it was about time we opened up our first office “over there”, led by environmental veteran Daryl Ditz, based in Washington DC.
To address the challenge around lack of knowledge about the chemical content in collected recyclable textiles, H&M Group and IKEA decided to collaborate in a large test study.
ChemSec webinar, March 16, 2021
The phase-out of substances of concern from new materials would entail billions of Euros in business opportunities. We need to recycle more, but have to consider chemical safety alongside increased recycling rates. And the presence of hazardous chemicals in recycled materials prevents the upscaling of circular economy.
“Our analysis shows that if problematic chemicals were more efficiently addressed, the market for recycled materials would increase. Even a small increase of 10% in the recycling of plastic packaging would correspond to an annual increase in EU market value of €2.6 billion”, says Anne-Sofie Bäckar, Executive Director at ChemSec.
In mid-January, we at ChemSec arranged our third workshop on recycled material and chemicals. This time, the topic was plastics in electronics.