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A world full of chemistry

APPLiA on the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability.

The EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability has been released. The EU Commission adopted the document on the 14th of October as part of the EU Green Deal - the EU’s new growth strategy.

“The world around us is full of chemistry. The EU Chemicals Strategy is an opportunity to be more sustainable and spark innovation” commented Paolo Falcioni, APPLiA’s Director General, “while at the same time reinforcing the market aspects and ensuring a coherent and consistent regulation for chemicals. Companies are already well used to handling risk management within the scope of specific chemical legislations, such as the RoHS Directive and the Materials in contact with Food Framework Regulation. Clearer political objectives and instruments can lead the way for continued positive development, but overlaps should be avoided with other pieces of EU legislation. 

The manufacturing of home appliances is built on principles of sustainability throughout the entire lifecycle of appliances, from their production to their end of life. Manufacturers pursue the best efficiency and performance for appliances, achieved through continued innovation of techniques and products. The Strategy must preserve innovation to strengthen the EU industry market, pointed out EU Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius while commenting on the plan for Chemicals. The Strategy should indeed continue to drive the internal market to ensure environmental protection and human well-being and create trust for consumers.

“Looking at the waste stage, we believe that innovative recycling technologies can represent a promising solution to address the issue of legacy substances ” continued Paolo Falcioni, addressing the final stage of the product life cycle. In this sense, establishing sector-specific collaborations between manufacturers and recyclers will only bring benefits to the entire society. The development of specific recycling technologies depending on the products to be treated would help to identify and remove critical substances, improving the overall output of recycling processes.

As for the use of recovered materials and recycled content used in products, setting mandatory requirements would unduly interfere with a secondary raw materials market which is already providing recovered materials. Recovered material content in new products cannot be easily measured and, as a direct consequence, mandatory requirements could not be enforced by Market Surveillance Authorities.“We of course welcome practices of using recycled content in appliances and support that those happen on a voluntary basis and provided that supplies of safe recycled materials of high quality, in sufficient quantities and at a market competitive price are made available to manufacturers.” he concluded.