On Friday 10 July, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the EU’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, calling on the Commission to step up action against hazardous chemicals.
Prior to the vote on Friday, the strategy was up for debate in the European Parliament, during which Rapporteur Maria Spyraki MEP highlighted that the primary objective of the strategy should be to better protect our health and the environment.
During the debate, MEPs requested the Commission to ensure regulatory coherence by promoting the ‘one substance, one assessment’ principle as the way to move forward. The Commission should also close existing loopholes in the EU’s chemicals legislation and help REACH to function more efficiently.
According to the MEPs, the Strategy should stimulate the European chemicals industry to develop safer and more sustainable alternatives, reduce exposure to endocrine disruptors and pesticides, and encourage green innovation and end toxic recycling.
In response, European Commissioner for the Environment Sinkevičus gave an overview of the Commission’s sustainable chemicals plan and agreed that the primary objective should be to protect public health and the environment. He also recognized the importance of the ‘one substance, one assessment’ principle to strengthen legislation and to ensure better compliance.
Additionally, the Commissioner explained that the strategy should encourage the development of safer and sustainable chemicals, boost innovation, and establish a global competitive advantage for the European chemicals sector.
The CRM Alliance welcomes the Parliament’s call to address regulatory incoherence and the promotion of the ‘one substance, one assessment’ principle. We remain, however, concerned that there was no mention of critical raw materials and the need to develop a dedicated regulatory framework recognizing the non-substitutable use of CRMs in many key applications, such as batteries or solar panels.
The Commission’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability is expected to be presented by autumn.