Following the finalisation of a new Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom, CHEM Trust's initial assessment is that this agreement does not adequately protect human health and the environment in the UK from hazardous chemicals. This is because it doesn't retain UK access to the EU's chemicals regulation system REACH. The agreement … [Read more...] about The Brexit trade deal: what it means for the UK’s protection from hazardous chemicals
Today CHEM Trust publishes a detailed report on 'Chemical Recycling', a set of technologies that are often claimed to be on the cusp of revolutionising the recycling of plastics. This study finds that these technologies in reality have major problems, including substantial energy use, a need for pre-sorted, good quality plastic input and concerns over hazardous … [Read more...] about Chemical recycling: Is it worth the energy?
At the start of September, the UK Government announced changes to the framework for its post-Brexit chemicals regulatory system, British REACH, or ‘BREACH’ *, which will deregulate the new system before it has even started to operate. Chemical and other companies have been complaining about the cost and burden of having to re-register their chemicals in BREACH, which they … [Read more...] about Michael Gove claimed it would be ‘better’, but in reality the UK’s BREACH is in crisis
On the 19th May, the UK Government published its draft legal text for a free trade agreement with the EU, along with a number of annexes, including one on chemicals. This annex leaves open the possibility of sharing chemical safety data, which we view as positive; though it provides no clues as to what preconditions the UK would be prepared to accept in return for such access. … [Read more...] about Future EU-UK cooperation on chemicals: analysing the UK’s proposal
Two years ago, in spring 2018, CHEM Trust published the report “From BPA to BPZ: a toxic soup?”. It examined how industry is being allowed to replace the well-known hormone disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA), with very similar chemicals that may also be harmful, for example bisphenol S (BPS). The report argued that in order to avoid regrettable substitution of one problem … [Read more...] about Why a group restriction of the bisphenols is long overdue
At the end of January 2020 the UK left the EU and entered a 'transition' period where EU laws continue to apply in the UK, while negotiations are underway to agree a long-term trade agreement. CHEM Trust's analysis is that the best outcome for chemicals regulation in both the UK and EU is for the UK to remain close to the EU's REACH chemicals regulatory system and the EU … [Read more...] about Brexit and Chemicals: Potential future partnership arrangements between the UK and ECHA
EU regulation of chemicals in food contact (FCM) applications, such as packaging, pipes or cooking equipment, is a strange world about which many readers focusing on REACH, RoHS or BPR may have little knowledge. I first noticed these laws after starting as Executive Director of CHEM Trust in 2014 and was amazed to discover the EU had built a system to create a positive list … [Read more...] about Is the EU finally set to update its outdated laws on chemicals in food contact materials?
A future UK REACH regime will be a “hollow shell” and will not be able to replicate the EU’s protections post-Brexit, said CHEM Trust in its evidence to a hearing in the UK Parliament on 12th March. Dr Michael Warhurst, CHEM Trust’s Executive Director, gave evidence to the public bill committee that has been set up to scrutinise the Environment Bill - alongside Nishma Patel, … [Read more...] about UK MPs quiz CHEM Trust and others on concerns about planned UK REACH
Today’s report released by Scottish NGO Fidra shows that controversial PFAS chemicals, also known as forever chemicals, are present in UK food packaging. Fidra analysed 20 food packaging samples bought in the UK to test for the presence of PFAS (per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances). PFAS were present in 95% of the samples tested as reported in their new report: … [Read more...] about New investigation finds harmful PFAS chemicals in UK food packaging
**Update: MEPs voted to reject the Commission's proposal to allow higher levels of lead in recycled PVC on Wednesday 12th February, with 394 votes for, 241 votes against and 13 abstentions** Some PVC plastic waste - for example from old PVC window frames - contains lead, a well-known health hazard which is no longer used in new PVC produced in the EU. This has led to … [Read more...] about MEPs to vote on contaminated PVC recycling – A clean or a dirty circular economy for Europe?