Increased use of virgin materials and low recycling levels show that a circular economy is far from being realised. The presence of chemicals of concern in materials is an important reason for this. Mechanical recycling will remain the main recycling technology for the foreseeable future, which makes establish ing nontoxic waste streams the key to scaling up the circular economy.
Numerous reports have highlighted the importance of tackling the problem of hazardous chemicals and stressed the fact that it is an urgent matter. As part of the European Green Deal, the EU Commission will present a Chemical Strategy for Sustainability. Here are five important aspects that need to be included in the strategy.
On 7 March 2019, the European Court of Justice annulled an authorisation granted under REACH. For the first time, the court looked at the legality of an authorisation and more specifically on how to assess the availability of safer alternatives. Even if the ruling doesn’t provide an answer to all problems connected with European chemicals legislation, it does carve out a few lessons to be learned. For this reason, ChemSec and ClientEarth joined forces in a new report that aims to analyse the judgement and translate it into concrete actions for the future.
This ChemSec publication highlights the piece that has been missing in the circular economy debate – hazardous chemicals. Designing and manufacturing products to be recycled is great, but without proper attention to chemicals, circular economy will never work.
This ChemSec report analyses the socio-economic analysis that forms part of the REACH Authorisation process and argues that the current practices in preparing them do not yield satisfying results. In some cases, the procedure even threatens the aim of REACH.
The following companies and organisations represent a sample of stakeholders committed to circular economy. We urge the Commission to take their statements into consideration and to respect their needs.