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Unlock the market: Economic incentives for alternatives to hazardous chemicals

By implementing economic incentives in EU chemicals legislation that would support companies who are moving away from hazardous chemicals, EU policy makers could stimulate the transition of the market towards sustainability more efficiently.

In the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, the European Commission highlights that substitution of the most harmful substances has not occurred at the expected pace and that companies that are leading the way still encounter major economic and technical barriers. This report shows that this is because the current legislative system has disfavoured the market for alternatives.

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Our view on Safe and Sustainable by Design criteria

Hazardous chemicals are a direct threat to human health and the environment and can therefore never be identified as safe and sustainable. The safe and sustainable by design criteria should be ambitious and comprehensive. However, in order to introduce the criteria as soon and efficiently as possible, the most important parameters should be included first.
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When is it justified to use very hazardous chemicals?

In which products and processes can we accept the use of toxic substances? This is a burning hot question in the chemicals policy debate. The Chemical Strategy acknowledges the urgency to speed up the phaseout of hazardous chemicals, and one important step in that direction is to allow the most harmful chemicals only for “essential use”.