On December 2, 2021, the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) reported on a call made from chemical industry leaders to the European Commission to collaborate in developing a “EU Chemical Industry Transition Pathway” in order to carry out further investments needed to meet the objectives set with the EU Green Deal, which includes the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS) (FPF reported). This follows the publication of a first report commissioned by Cefic to better understand the potential impacts of the CSS on chemical businesses. Using data from over 100 European chemicals companies, a team of independent consultants investigated the scope of potential impacts that could result from future revisions within the EU’s REACH and CLP regulations. Cefic also plans to use these data to comment during upcoming impact assessments carried about the European Commission.
The report identified that up to 12,000 substances could be affected by changes to the REACH and CLP regulations as well as by the implementation of a Generic Risk Approach (GRA). Considering the uncertainties about future definitions and criteria involved in upcoming potential regulatory changes, up to 28% of the chemical industry’s estimated turnover could be affected. A set of consulted chemical companies estimated that one-third of these chemicals could be substituted or reformulated. The most impacted downstream sectors are estimated to be adhesives and sealants, paints, as well as cleaning products. The industry leaders have called for “the proposed Transition Pathway [to] include timelines and measures for the industry to develop substitutes and focus on those products where these substitutes could be available first.” They also explained that incentives will be needed to create markets for the replacement chemicals in addition to an increase in enforcement of chemicals regulations on imported products.
Cefic (November 18, 2021). “Economic Analysis of the Impacts of the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability.” (pdf)
Cefic (December 2, 2021). “Upcoming EU chemical Legislation Puts Europe’s Fourth Largest Manufacturing Industry At Crucial Crossroads.”
Stefan Scheuer (December 2, 2021). “The chemical industry cries wolf yet again on plans to improve protection from hazardous chemicals.” ChemTrust