With the European Green Deal, the European Commission is hoping to tackle climate change by reducing contamination to achieve a toxic-free environment, with the aim of attaining zero pollution. The Commission hopes to provide the EU with a clean, circular and sustainable economy, and to become carbon neutral in 2050.
As part of those objectives, at the end of 2020 the European Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability was adopted, setting out a series of actions intended to increase the awareness and control of chemical products.
The aim of the Strategy is to better protect citizens and the environment against dangerous chemical products and to encourage innovations within the development of safe and sustainable products, thus promoting the EU industry as a world leader in the production and use of chemical products.
To achieve these objectives, a revision of the rules that regulate the recording, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemical products in the EU is required, in addition to a specific revision of the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation regarding chemical substances and mixtures.
The REACH Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals, together with the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation for chemical products, is a key part of EU legislation for the evaluation and management of chemical products.
The REACH Regulation was last evaluated in 2018 and it was concluded that there were opportunities for improvement, with lapses in the knowledge of many substances. The Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability acknowledges the need for specific revision of the REACH Regulations in order to achieve their objectives.
To achieve the objectives indicated, the strategy also includes the revision of the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation for chemical substances and mixtures. This regulation, together with the REACH Regulation, is a fundamental factor in evaluating the dangers of chemical products. It is believed that in several aspects the CLP Regulation has not been kept up-to-date, and in others the regulations are ambiguous and allow for diverging interpretations.
The Commission has introduced a four-week period, starting from 4 May, for receiving feedback from the interested parties, which may include contributions and suggestions. Once this period is over, the Commission shall publish a report with the contributions received and will explain how they are to be applied in the event that the Commission proceeds to do so.