On July 10, 2020, the European Parliament (EP) announced the formal adoption of a resolution calling for the upcoming EU chemicals strategy to minimize exposure to hazardous chemicals including specific provisions for food contact materials (FCMs). The adoption comes as a final step after the resolution was drafted and accepted by the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee on June 29, 2020 (FPF reported). The resolution calls for a ‘one substance – one hazard assessment’ principle whereby each substance should only be reviewed by one EU agency to increase the assessment efficiency and make regulations more consistent. Further, the resolution specifically outlines the need to minimize human and environmental exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and to treat EDCs in FCMs in the same way as substances that are carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic for reproduction (CMR).
The EP also calls for more incentives for safer chemical technology, with an emphasis on implementing non-chemical alternatives. Recycled materials should be covered by the same rules as new materials to prevent exposure to hazardous substances that can be carried onward (and potentially accumulate) in recycled materials. The resolution represents the EP’s official input into the development of the new EU chemicals strategy for sustainability, which is set to be presented by the European Commission this fall (FPF reported). The European Council has also submitted its conclusions on the strategy (FPF reported).
EP (July 10, 2020). “Parliament calls on EU Commission to step up action against dangerous chemicals.”
Health and Environment Alliance (July 10, 2020). “European Parliament calls on EU Commission to take health-first approach in upcoming chemicals strategy.”
Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) (July 10, 2020). “CIEL Welcomes the European Parliament Resolution on Chemicals, and Calls on the Commission to Take Action.”
Clelia Oziel (July 14, 2020). “EU Parliament adopts resolution on Commission’s chemicals strategy.” Chemical Watch
Leigh Stringer (July 16, 2020). “Eastman supports ‘functional grouping’ to assess substances in EU.” Chemical Watch
Geraint Roberts (July 29, 2020). “Big interview: Guilhem de Seze – How the ‘one substance – one assessment’ concept could work.” Chemical Watch
EP (July 10, 2020). “European Parliament resolution of 10 July 2020 on the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (2020/2531(RSP)).” (pdf)