A 42-page paper by the European federation of environmental NGOs (EEB) with ClientEarth makes recommendations to improve integration of EU chemicals, product and waste legislation with the aim of facilitating the circular economy whilst ensuring health and environmental protection.
The three key recommendations are to improve information of the supply chain concerning the presence of hazardous chemicals, to limit such chemicals entering the material cycle in the first place and to ensure that recycled products offer the same level of safety as virgin materials, in particular by decontamination in recycling. The paper summarises issues with chemicals, waste and product legislations (CLP, REACH, POPs, GPSD General Product Safety Directive, Toys, Food Packagin, RoHS, EcoDesign, Waste Framework Directive and End-of-Waste, WEEE. Two examples are assessed in detail: deconstruction and reuse of constituent parts of a mattress with DecaBDE in the ticking textile and HBCDD in the foam; recovery of materials from an LCD screen containing mercury.
“Keeping it clean: how to protect the circular economy from hazardous substances”, ClientEarth and EEB (European Environmental Bureau), cofunded by MAVA (Fondation pour la Nature) and the European Union, 42 pages, February 2017 http://www.eeb.org/index.cfm/library/keeping-it-clean-how-to-protect-the-circular-economy-from-hazardous-substances/