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?
**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?
We spend up to 90% of our time indoors – in our homes, our offices or at school. However, studies show that indoor air can be more polluted and therefore worse for our health than air outdoors, as indoor air and dust can contain a number of worrying harmful chemical pollutants. Children, particularly babies and toddlers playing on floors, are specifically vulnerable to … [Read more...] about Dust: Not only a nuisance, but also a source of hazardous chemicals
On 24th March I took part in an event in Brussels, organised by EurActiv, discussing the relationship between the REACH chemicals regulations and the Circular Economy, in particular the interaction between REACH & recycling. The other panelists included representatives of the European Commission (both DG Environment and DG Growth), the plastic pipe industry and an MEP, Paul … [Read more...] about REACH helps the circular economy clean up, facilitating sustainable recycling
The EU's REACH system for regulating chemicals was supposed to bring with it a significant improvement in protection of people and the environment from toxic chemicals. But is it delivering? The latest developments in the debate over alternatives to the phthalate DEHP, used in PVC products, suggest that there are some serious problems. … [Read more...] about Replacing chemicals with safer alternatives – or protecting dirty industry? (updated)
Phthalates are a group of chemicals used in a wide range of products - this introduction from a 2013 scientific paper is a good summary: "Phthalates are a group of ubiquitous chemicals present in many consumer products, including building materials, furnishings, clothing, paints, food packaging, toys, personal care products and pharmaceuticals. Many of them are or have been … [Read more...] about Phthalates – they’re all around us and could be having some strange effects…