In an article published on January 31, 2019 by regulatory news provider Chemical Watch, editor Leigh Stringer informed that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has recommended developing “a global manufacturing restricted substances list (MRSL) for plastics,” aimed primarily at plastics designers and expected to “support quality and consistency in recycling.”

This suggestion has been put forward in a report published on January 16, 2019, titled “Considerations and criteria for sustainable plastics from a chemicals perspective.” The report is an outcome of an “international workshop looking at the sustainable design of plastics,” co-organized by the OECD and the Danish government and held in Denmark in 2018. The document “does not offer suggestions on who could lead on the development of the list,” Stringer informed, adding that “the OECD said the idea has ‘not been further developed than what is in the report.’”

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) commented that “with respect to MRSLs, there are examples of useful approaches to reporting substances in certain industries.” The European chemical industry council, Cefic, is “still developing its position on the idea.”

Dolores Romano from the non-governmental organization (NGO) European Environmental Bureau (EEB) supported the OECD’s proposal as such a list could help “companies producing and marketing plastic articles avoid the most toxic chemicals, improving the safety for consumers and the environment.” She called for a disclosure of “all known constituents of plastic products . . . in order to ensure informed decisions by manufacturers, consumers, authorities and other stakeholders along the supply chain, including waste managers and . . . recyclers.” Romano brought up an example of the textiles industry who succeeded in establishing a global MRSL “despite also having a very complex supply chain.”

Read more

Leigh Stringer (January 31, 2018). “OECD puts forward idea for a global MRSL for plastics.Chemical Watch


OECD (January 16, 2019). “Considerations and criteria for sustainable plastics from a chemicals perspective.” ENV/JM/MONO(2019)5 (pdf)