Sustainable Manufacturing

More effort needed to meet Europe’s ambition for zero pollution chemicals

More needs to be done by legislators and industry to reach Europe’s ambition of safe and sustainable chemicals, laid out in the chemicals strategy in October, according to the head of the European Chemical Agency (ECHA).
Circular materials 24-03-2021

Recover today, lead for 2030: A future-fit industrial strategy for Europe

The current political debate on industrial policy lacks an honest acknowledgement of how much is already decided – from EU recovery budgets to the 2030 climate targets, write Sandrine Dixson-Declève and Janez Potočnik. Sandrine Dixson-Declève is the president of The...

New EU reporting requirements will force firms to ‘get serious’

The European Commission will force companies to "get serious" about due diligence and non-financial reporting as it prepares to table key legislation in the coming months.

Half a million people can’t be ignored – it is time for the EU to listen

Momentum is growing among policymakers, civil society and the public in the call to hold businesses accountable for their impacts on human rights and the environment through binding EU laws. Now eyes are on the European Commission to follow through with tangible and effective legislation, writes Jill McArdle.

EU court rules out unjustified use of dangerous chemicals in paint

The EU illegally allowed dangerous lead substances to be sold in paints despite safer options being available, the European Court of Justice said in a ruling on Thursday (25 February).

EU should review approval of plastics with toxic softener DEHP – top court adviser

The European Commission should review a decision to let companies use recycled plastics containing DEHP, a toxic additive, since it failed to properly consider associated health risks, an adviser to the EU's top court said on Thursday (25 February).
Circular economy 25-02-2021

Soft drinks industry aims for 100% recycled or renewable plastic by 2030

European soft drink makers unveiled their new vision for 2030 on Monday (22 February), announcing plans to reach 100% recycled or renewable materials in plastic bottles by the end of the decade.

Hope for a new settlement between companies, people and the environment in the EU

A proposed due diligence law gives the EU the chance to reshape the relationship between corporations, people and the planet, writes Richard Gardiner.
Batteries 27-01-2021

Brussels approves €2.9 billion investment into battery innovation

Twelve EU countries will jointly invest almost three billion euros into innovation in battery cell technology for electric vehicles and energy storage, cementing the EU as a “global hotspot” for battery innovation, the European Commission announced on Tuesday (26 January).

EU lawmakers call for targets to reduce raw material use

Lawmakers in the European Parliament's environment committee will call for legally-binding targets to reduce raw material use in a report due to be voted on this week.
Electric vehicles 21-01-2021

Slovakia struggles to keep pace with rapidly transforming car sector

In at least one global economic ranking, Slovakia consistently occupies first place - car production per capita. The sector accounts for 13% of Slovakia’s GDP, almost 50% of its industrial production, and 46% of the country’s exports, but this reliance is also fraught with risks, particularly in times of growing digitisation and green ambitions.

20% of UK chemicals registrations face revocation after Brexit

Around 20% of registrations from UK-based companies to the European Union's REACH chemicals database have not been transferred to EU companies and will be revoked after 31 March 2021, according to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

UK chemicals industry faces £1 billion bill to build post-Brexit database

The UK is facing a £1 billion bill to replicate the EU’s chemical database after the government opted to leave the bloc's REACH system on 31 December.

Recyclers fret as EU plastic waste export ban comes into force

New EU rules came into force on 1 January, prohibiting the shipment of unsorted plastic waste to foreign countries. Although the move will increase pressure on Europe to recycle, activists say the ban is likely to increase landfilling and waste burning inside the Union.
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The goal is clear, let’s discuss the how

Moving to a sustainable and circular economy is the goal of decision makers, civil society and forward-looking companies like Covestro, but how do we get there? Here, Lynette Chung, Chief Sustainability Officer at Covestro, discusses what sustainability means to the...

Chemical recycling should be seen as a last resort, EU official says

Chemical recycling should be seen as a last resort option to deal with growing amounts of plastic waste while more research is needed to reduce its energy consumption, a senior EU official has said.

Plastic waste: how to square the circle

The EU’s circular economy plan aims to halve municipal waste in the next decade by increasing recycling rates. Can companies boost the use of recycled plastics in time to meet the target?

EU defines sustainable plastic manufacturing in draft green finance rules

The manufacturing of plastics can be considered a "sustainable" economic activity in Europe provided that they are “fully manufactured by mechanical recycling of plastic waste” or by chemical recycling  processes if minimum emission standards are met, according to a leaked EU proposal seen by EURACTIV.

Raw materials: the missing link in Europe’s drive for batteries

While Europe is rapidly catching up with China on investments into batteries for electric cars, it is still lagging behind when it comes to securing supplies of the critical raw materials that are needed to produce them.

Fixing plastic collection seen as vital to success of chemical recycling

Two billion people worldwide do not have access to proper waste collection services, leading to ever-growing plastic pollution in oceans and waterways, particularly in the global south.

EU’s Sefcovic: Europe must be ‘much more strategic’ on raw materials

The European Union “cannot achieve” climate neutrality without critical raw materials like lithium and rare earths, says Commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič. It now needs to be “much more strategic” in relations with supplier countries in order to ensure the bloc's “strategic autonomy,” he argues.

EU’s new chemical strategy aims to prohibit hazardous substances until proven safe

The European Commission's new chemicals strategy, published on Wednesday (14 October), proposes to ban the most toxic substances by default, authorising them only on a case-by-case basis when they are proven to be indispensable to society.

Europe aims for ‘zero pollution’ in upcoming chemicals strategy

The European Commission will publish a strategy on Wednesday (14 October) on zero pollution in the chemicals industry, but any white paper will have to walk the same, precarious tightrope as its predecessors.
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Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability hand in hand with the Industrial Strategy

The EU Green Deal claims that it is a “new growth strategy that aims to transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases...