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.
The mounting evidence against PFAS have now surpassed the sole awareness of the scientific community, and today many regular citizens are aware of this problematic group of chemicals.
This begs the question: If PFAS are that bad, how on earth can they still be allowed?
The socio-economic analysis, in its current form, does not paint the whole picture. And it is absolutely necessary for the EU Commission to see the whole picture when deciding on whether or not to grant an authorisation. Otherwise, this procedure threatens to counteract the very aim of REACH.
Innovation was on everyones’ lips last week following a vote in the EU parliament that ushered in the so-called Innovation Principle for the first time in an official EU text. At a glance – the Innovation Principle looks great. I mean, who doesn’t like innovation? It’s only when you look a bit closer at it that the cracks start to appear.
Circular economy is the new buzzword in the world of sustainability. It has truly become a hot topic – not only among legislators in the European Union, but also among companies that strive to have a progressive sustainability profile. And most importantly, the concept has gained a lot of traction in public opinion. But. Not all recycling, and not all recycled materials, are good.
I’d like to argue that a database that can help us understand some of the toxic chemicals we surround ourselves with is pretty solid idea. And imagine the possibilities: What if it wasn’t limited to Candidate List substances, but could also include SIN List chemicals, or better yet, full material declarations? This would seriously incentivize the use of recycled materials as well as increase the value of the industry.
European chemicals legislation allows several hazardous chemicals, that are identified as Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and restricted under the REACH regulation, to be used in food contact material. How can this be?
Some call the blacklist approach old fashioned and out-dated. Let’s focus on what you can use instead of what you cannot, they say. Following this train of thought it is tempting to just advocate getting rid of all blacklists and develop whitelists instead. But in fact, you need both, it is not a question of black or white. Let’s try and sort it out.