Circular economy needs stronger chemicals laws

EU chemicals regulation will need to be tougher and more focused on the future if the circular economy is to work, says Michael Warhurst of NGO CHEM Trust

EU chemicals regulation will need to be made more focused on the future if the circular economy is to work. Many aspects of our chemicals laws will need to get a lot tougher because a true circular economy will require elimination of toxic chemicals.

In practical terms that means four things.

First, REACH and other regulatory systems, such as that for chemicals in food packaging, must assume 100% recycling of final products – a fully circular system. Likewise, 100% re-use of sewage sludge in agriculture must be assumed. This should also be the case for materials that are currently not well recycled, such as carpets.

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