Posted on Feb 04, 2021
The European Environment Agency EEA has just published a briefing on safe and sustainable products. The EEA calls for a new approach for the design of chemicals to meet the requirements of the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability.
Chemicals should be manufactured and used in such ways, which make the best possible contribution to society while avoiding harm to people and the environment.
Circular economy and climate neutrality can only be achieved with a rethinking of chemical production. According to the EEA, this requires a harmonised methodology and minimum requirements in the area of safety and sustainability to ensure uniform approaches in different industry sectors and to guarantee high-quality products.
Green MEP and pharmacist Jutta Paulus, a member of the European Parliament's Environment, Industry and Cancer Committees commented: "I welcome the European Environment Agency's proposals for safe and sustainable chemistry. We need ecodesign for chemicals and chemical products. Prevention is better than expensive aftercare. We need to nip the next toxic scandal in the bud and pave the way for climate-neutral, sustainable production.
'Chemicals are an important and often inconspicuous part of our everyday lives. Personal care products, building materials, toys or the new pair of jeans - we must be able to rely on safe and sustainable products. Following the introduction of the European Ecodesign Directive, significant improvements have been achieved in electrical appliances. Comparable measures in chemical design are essential. We can only achieve a pollutant-free circular economy and climate neutrality in the chemical industry if resource and energy efficiency, harmlessness and recyclability are taken into account right from the development phase.
'I call on the European Commission to present a draft methodology and minimum requirements for sustainable chemical production before the end of this year. In this way, people, the environment and the economy will win, and "Made in a Green Europe" can become an export hit.'
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