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).
CHEM Trust has been concerned about this issue for some years, and we have been very involved in the European Commission’s review of this policy area.
In our view, the focus should be on creating a clean circular economy – anything else will risk undermining public confidence in the whole circular economy concept.
Our contributions have included:
- A briefing “Circular Economy and Chemicals: Creating a clean and sustainable circle”, which was part of our contribution to the Commission’s consultation on the issue in Summer 2015.
- In June 2018 the World Health Organisation published a report “Circular Economy and Health: Opportunities and Risks” which quoted from this 2015 briefing.
- CHEM Trust comments on the European Commission Roadmap “Analysis of the interface between chemicals, products and waste legislation and identification of policy options.” in March 2017, and a response to the European Commission Stakeholder Consultation: “Chemical, Product, Waste interface” in July 2017.
- Many talks, including at the Commission’s “Closing the Loop“ conference in June 2015, “Circular economy: opportunities and challenges (don’t mess it up)” at the Helsinki Chemicals Forum in May 2016 and “Presence of substances of concern in products made from recycled materials” at the Commission’s “Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference: One year after adoption, working together for the future” conference in March 2017.
- A blog on this site highlighting the problem of PCBs in buildings and waste: “Killer whales under threat from persistent PCB chemicals, yet emissions continue“
- Blogs on other sites, for example “How can we create a clean circular economy” as part of the Royal Society of Art’s Great Recovery programme.
You can see all our blogs relating to the circular economy here.