Some people may think that chemicals have to be shown to be safe before they are used the products in our homes. Unfortunately, this is not yet the case and in this blog we will examine a chemical that is routinely used in sofas and which has been described as 'inert' by one company. Meanwhile, scientists have found that it contaminates polar bears in the Arctic, dust in our … [Read more...] about The polluting chemical in our sofas – and polar bears – that shows that REACH controls are failing
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?
In our initial comments on the new Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, our Executive Director Michael Warhurst said today: "CHEM Trust welcomes the European Commission’s new Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, published today, however it is important that the new commitments in the strategy are rapidly transformed into action in the real world. This strategy has the … [Read more...] about CHEM Trust welcomes the European Commission’s new Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability
The European Green Deal aims to boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy and aims at restoring biodiversity and cutting pollution. This requires a strong new Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability that puts words into action and adopts tools to deliver on the Commission’s Zero Pollution Ambition for a toxic-free environment. CHEM Trust's … [Read more...] about Better protection from hazardous chemicals: actions needed in Europe’s new strategy
**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?
Today, the UK Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) published a new report on 'Toxic Chemicals in Everyday Life' following its inquiry into the subject. The EAC declare that "current regulation does not account for the cocktail of chemicals we are exposed to", and that hazardous chemicals are now "ubiquitous in humans and the environment". The committee makes a wide … [Read more...] about UK MPs back CHEM Trust’s priorities in new report on Toxic Chemicals in Everyday Life
CHEM Trust has joined an important collaboration of NGOs and academic scientists looking at the topical and crucial issue of hazardous chemicals in plastic packaging. As we all know, use of plastic packaging is increasing globally, causing environmental and human health concerns. In 2015 annual plastic production was 380Mt, of which about 40 per cent was used in packaging, … [Read more...] about Hazardous chemicals in plastic packaging: an initial analysis
Today, the 16th January 2018, the EU Commission released its long-expected Plastics Strategy. The Strategy includes an announcement that the Commission has started the process to ban both intentionally added microplastics and oxo-degradable plastics. Both these bans will be implemented as Restrictions under the EU's main chemicals law REACH. The Commission also announced a a … [Read more...] about EU announces plan to restrict plastic microbeads and oxo-degradable plastics
A Circular Economy is an important component of a future-focussed, sustainable, economy. However, chemicals can disrupt this circular economy, for example where banned chemicals are present in a product that is to be recycled (e.g. furniture). In our view, the focus should be on creating a clean circular economy - anything else will risk undermining public confidence in the … [Read more...] about Chemicals and the Circular Economy
PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls) are a group of chemicals which were produced in large quantities by companies such as Monsanto, and were widely used in electrical equipment, sealants and paints. Their production was phased out in the mid 1980’s in Europe, and they are now banned by the global Stockholm convention, as they were found to be toxic and to accumulate in wildlife … [Read more...] about Killer whales under threat from persistent PCB chemicals, yet emissions continue