Sustainability – a strong contender for being the most contemporary cliché out there. The extensive use of the word sustainable and versions thereof has diluted the expression to the point where it’s hard to understand what the word really means. There are probably more views on this topic than there are on the Swedish Covid-19 strategy.
For the last month, several important European policy makers have stated that a green and sustainable economy is the right medicine to counter the economic aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. For this ambitious agenda to work, it is, however, important that the chemicals legislation is at its core.
Here are four tips that will help you get your point across in this strange new world of electronic meetings.
I rubbed my hands in anticipation when I sat down to read the Circular Economy Action Plan, hoping for clear and decisive measures. After reading it, I felt… unsatisfied. After that first sentence, it loses its edge. Even though the sense of urgency is there, it lacks the powerful measures that are necessary to fundamentally change the system and achieve a circular economy.
Taking on the role of a regular consumer and asking retailers about chemical content in products proved to be surprisingly hard.
To me, it’s obvious that policy makers need to step up their game. The transition to safer chemicals cannot solely be driven by consumers trying to make sense of content declarations on the back of shampoo bottles. Besides, the positive environmental impact of an informed purchase is absolutely dwarfed by an industry wide law.
A couple of weeks ago, chemical producing giant Dupont announced via a press release its new sustainability goals, including an ambition to design all of its products in line with the green chemistry principles. In this situation, where the current business model has reached the end of the road, there aren’t many options left for Dupont but to announce a major turnaround.
The EU Commission has started to investigate if polymers should be registered under the EU chemicals legislation REACH. This has turned out to be something of a hot potato since opinions on the matter differ. Some say yes, some say no – others ask how and to what extent.
Last month, 187 governments signed off on amendments that will dramatically expand the Basel Convention’s controls on how plastic waste is exported and imported in the world. This new plastic waste ban is a big deal. It will most likely re-shape the world’s waste trade quite a bit.
Even though the oil industry is far from finished I doubt many people would call it a sector with a bright outlook.
Can we expect such a change of perception in the chemical sector? I’d say that the answer to that is yes. It’s already happening.