Chemical compliance… what’s happening?

What’s happening with regard to chemical regulations internationally? Here are some updates we’ve prepared for you for September 2020.

European Commission to review concentration limits of POPs

The European Commission is again planning to review the concentration limits for certain persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in waste. The aim of the revision is to ensure that such waste is managed in a safe and environmentally sound way. European Recycling Platform (ERP) responded to the Commission’s recently closed stakeholder consultation. Read ERP’s full comments here.

ERP is concerned that lowering the concentration limits – particularly the sum value for polybrominated diphenyl ethers to 500 mg/kg – would result in greater amounts of electronic waste becoming unavailable for recycling. If the waste is sent for disposal and incineration instead, then this would jeopardise all the action taken in recent years to move towards a circular economy.

The stated aim to reduce negative impacts on the environment and human health may also have unintended side-effects on the life cycle of electrical products, making it impossible with today’s technologies to recycle plastics from WEEE in a responsible way.

Under the regulation on persistent organic pollutants, the Commission is required to constantly review the concentration limits for POPs in waste and to make proposals for amendments, where appropriate, to adapt these values to scientific and technical progress.

For more information on this issue, please contact us.

Updating UK chemicals database could cost businesses £1 billion

The simple copying of registrations from the European Chemicals Agency’s (ECHA) REACH database to a new UK-only database could come at a substantial cost to companies, with costs estimated at more than 1 billion pounds.

The Chemicals Industry Association has warned that a data sharing deal will be necessary to ensure that companies do not unfairly pick up the cost for the move away from a unified European system.

As it stands, chemical companies will have two years to submit registrations for their products that they plan to put on the UK market. The UK is planning to introduce its own REACH system on 1 January 2021.

Despite the considerable costs, the UK government has reiterated that they will not seek any form of associate membership of ECHA, with Environment Minister Rebecca Pow stating: “While the transition to UK REACH will take some adjustment, we believe that the benefits of having control of our own laws outweigh the costs.”

Contact Landbell Group to learn how the upcoming shift to a UK REACH system may affect your business, and how you can best navigate the changes. Get in touch here.

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