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.
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.