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The European Commission is considering drafting new European Union (EU) legislation promoting the reuse and recycling of plastic waste, and has asked plastics companies to participate in a comprehensive public consultation on the issue.

A Commission communiqué said companies should say “whether, and how, existing legislation should be adapted to deal with plastic waste and promote re-use, recycling and recovery of plastic waste over landfilling”.

Meanwhile, plastics companies are being asked by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to step forward and lead safety assessments of polymers and plastics ingredients in a current second registration process under Reach. ECHA is concerned that around 700 of the substances industry surveys that had shown EU companies wanted to register this year have not been registered. And no company has said it will coordinate the safety checks required for their registration.

ECHA has now released a list of substances where it has “so far neither received a lead registrant nomination [to coordinate an assessment] nor a registration…” They include nine polymer-related substances, natural rubber, petroleum resins and paraffin waxes.

The agency has also accepted the results of a European Commission review of Reach, which has concluded the registration process needs reform. The review conclusions were generally positive, saying Reach “functions well and delivers on all the objectives”. But in a separate note ECHA said: “While the registration has been successful, ECHA agrees with the Commission’s findings that the quality of registration dossiers still needs to improve.”

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