To “REACH” or to Recycle?!

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Over the past decades the European Union has put in place a broad range of environmental legislation to reduce pollution, to better manage the natural resources and overall to contribute to sustainable development goals. Among others, the chemicals legislation has been revised and the use of certain substances has been restricted.

While calling for a more resource efficient Europe, by increasing recycling targets, the EC may have to look at its environmental policies from a more systemic approach. This could be achieved by carefully analysing the trade- offs existing among the different pieces of legislation, as one piece of policy might be disruptive to achieve the goals of another one

If the objective is to increase resource efficiency of EU economy by working on durability and recyclability of products, is there a need for re-thinking then the way to deal with the use of chemicals?

  • The European Commission is expected to re-table the Circular Economy package by the end of 2015. Is this the right moment to re-think EU policies concerning recycling targets?
  • Is REACH and the current waste legislation consistent with recycling targets? What needs to be changed to improve the current situation?
  • Is industry incentivised to recycle? Do SMEs have the appropriate tools and know how to comply with REACH requirements?
  • Can the revised Circular Economy package be the real opportunity to create a legislative framework promoting recycling in reality and not only on paper?

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