The Chemicals strategy aims at strengthening the EU legal framework to address pressing environmental and health concerns through the revision of the REACH and CLP Regulations. Following the impact assessment and roadmap, the Commission consulted citizens and stakeholders as part of the targeted revision of the CLP regulation. Our particular position at the interface between products, chemicals and waste has given us specific experiences to share concerns and proposals on the revision of the CLP regulation in order to protect health and the environment and pave the way towards a non toxic environment.
You will learn below our main points:
- Our main challenge is to acknowledge the distinction between waste and products, justifying different approaches between them and the relevance to keep separate classification. As stakeholders acting at the very end of the economic chain, our experience demonstrated that once a product becomes waste, it is not always easy to know for sure its final destination. A product is designed for a known specific use, with a use scenario, making it relevant to apply a risk based approach that will validate that there are no adverse risks for this use. On the contrary, a waste could not be oriented for sure towards one expected route and many different choices are available between recycling, recovery or disposal, depending on the quality of the waste, the market and many other contextual reasons. Consequently, it could be difficult to ensure that the totality of the waste stream will follow a route comprehensively assessed under the CLP rules, making it relevant to adopt an hazard based approach based on the intrinsic properties.
- Propose a comprehensive definition of substances of concern to encompass those identified under REACH as SVHC, substances prohibited under the Stockholm Convention (POP), specific substances restricted in articles listed in Annex XVII to Reach as well as specific substances regulated under specific and sector legislation (RoHS, etc.). The list should be regularly updated by ECHA on the basis of new available results and take into account new and emerging chemical hazards such as EDC, nanomaterials, and microplastics.
- Adopt a grouping approach as similar substances are likely to present similar threats.
- Integrate new hazards to take into account that new, emerging and also suspected chemical risks pose a threat to health and the environment. This problem should be addressed by introducing specific hazards to address this risk, and thus considering chemicals substances that are concerned by this hazard – but are not part yet of a comprehensive framework or not yet regulated (for instance, endocrine disruptor hazard). To apply with the precautionary principle, considering distinction between “known” and “suspected” categories would make sense.
- Ensure information and traceability on the whole chain. The CLP has impacts on products, chemicals and waste legislation. It is therefore crucial to ensure information and traceability of streams throughout the value chain and to valorize available tools towards this end, notably the SCIP database that would allow sharing of information between the whole chain of actors, until the waste treatment operator.