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Nov. 19 EU: REACH chemicals law hampers EU recycling goals

This article is brought to you by EurActiv.

The REACH chemical safety regulation is creating headaches for recycled products manufacturers, hampering the European Union’s efforts to decrease its reliance on imported raw materials. The European Commission has only begun acknowledging the problem, saying it will take time to address.

Reach was adopted in 2006 with the objective of protecting consumers’ health and the environment by obliging chemical companies to screen and eventually phase out the most harmful substances on the market.

But while the law is expected to improve the environment, it is creating headaches for manufacturers who rely on waste as a secondary raw material, another EU environmental policy objective.

The problem with using recycled products as raw materials – especially plastics – is that they may contain chemical substances that are no longer authorised in Europe because of REACH.

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