The guidance document aims to help UK companies who believe they could be affected by the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulations as they are introduced across Europe this year.
It has been published ahead of final guidance being issued by the European Commission and European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
While the EU has been very clear that the regulations do not apply to waste, recovery businesses are classed as manufacturers under REACH, and, as such, they could be required to register chemical substances they recover from waste with the ECHA.
Last week it was confirmed that compost would be an exempt substance under REACH Annex V, and as a result compost producers do not have to register their substance, and Defra's advice added that the European Commission was also expected to confirm that anaerobic digestion would be exempt under the same section.
There has been less clarity over the state over the situation for other recovery sectors, with paper reprocessors, and plastics recycling firms expressing doubts over just what the regulations would mean for them.
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