Based on a latest investigation carried out by recycling association- Euric, imported products manufactured outside the EU are not compliant with the bloc’s chemical legislation. This has hindered Europe’s circular economy ambitions.
The imported articles into the EU include primary or recycled materials which do not adhere to the EU chemical regulations such as REACH or RoHS.
While announcing the recent discovery, Euric gave the example of plastic, used in small domestic appliances and toys, these especially contain persistent organic pollutants (POPs).
The paper draws attention to issues created by the lack of interface between chemicals, product and waste legislation in the EU. It further also presents “simple solutions” to foster the transition towards a circular economy.
According to a statement released by Christer Forsgren- Euric’s waste and chemicals taskforce chair and environmental and technical director at Swedish recycling firm Stena Metall, Europe’s recycling industry is crucial in minimizing the dependency towards primary materials and to save CO2 and energy.
In order to accomplish the aim of making Europe the first climate neutral continent by 2050, adhering to EU chemicals legislation at region’s borders is of special importance.
European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) further confirms, while the production of articles has the use of an SVHC, the article may not necessarily contain the substance.
Euric further clarifies problems posed by SVHCs are dependent upon the type of waste and the time required for the recycling process. In such a case, time-limited derogations which require phase-out strategies are essential, however these should not pose risk to human health and environment and have been tested for safe end use of recycled materials.