In an article published on February 8, 2017 by regulatory news provider Chemical Watch, editor Leigh Stringer reported on the first meeting of the intersessional process considering the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020. At the meeting, Erik Solheim, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), urged governments to “challenge businesses” through regulation in order to drive the development of safer chemicals and products. Solheim stressed that discussions between regulators and industry are essential for introducing effective regulation. He also noted that the lack of chemicals regulation in many countries is slowing the process of moving away from hazardous substances. Further, Mr. Solheim stated that businesses should provide consumers with clear information on the chemicals contained in the products they buy, “in a language that normal people . . . can understand.” He argued that informed consumers are more likely to demand businesses and governments to phase out hazardous chemicals and products.

Marco Mensink, director general of the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) and council secretary of the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA), agreed with Mr. Solheim regarding the benefits of regulation for industry stating that the “core strengths of businesses are innovation and capitalizing on opportunities.” He also highlighted the necessity of a continuous dialogue between regulators and industry to make sure regulations are fit for purpose, goal-oriented, and do not have negative impacts on the market.

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Leigh Stringer (February 8, 2017). “UNEP head calls for bolder government actions on hazardous substances.Chemical Watch