Earlier this week, the UK Government provided the first concrete example of UK divergence from EU protections for the environment and public health from hazardous chemicals. It announced which restrictions on chemicals will be considered by the new UK chemicals regulatory regime (UK REACH - which covers England, Wales and Scotland) in its first year. Restrictions are a way … [Read more...] about UK REACH restrictions: first signs of UK regulatory divergence on chemicals
At the start of 2021 the UK left the EU's regulatory processes, and a new 'GB REACH' system started to operate to regulate use of chemicals. Following a push from a number of UK industry associates to deregulate this new system, a coalition of health and environmental NGOs, including CHEM Trust, have written to the UK Government calling for it to resist these unwise and unsafe … [Read more...] about Joint NGO letter calls on UK Ministers to resist proposals to deregulate GB REACH
Yesterday, the Financial Times reported on a joint letter from chemical and other industry associations to the Government, asking for a radical deregulation of the UK’s post-Brexit chemicals regime. Unfortunately the industry has not yet published the letter, despite this media coverage, making public scrutiny difficult, however a summary of its proposals has been tweeted out … [Read more...] about UK industry pushing post-Brexit deregulation of chemical laws, but the Swiss model is better for everyone
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?