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There are many reasons hazardous chemicals should be phased out from products and processes. The main reason, of course, is to protect our health and the environment, but there are also numerous explicit reasons.
All companies are required by law to keep track of the chemicals present in their products and to work systematically to phase out particularly hazardous chemicals. This also applies to goods not manufactured by the company but which it imports or distributes. It is therefore important to monitor suppliers, both in and outside the EU.
As of January 2021, anyone who markets a product containing more than 0.1% by weight of a particularly hazardous chemical, will be obligated to report this to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
A prerequisite for a sustainable way of life in the future is the transition to a circular economy. Being able to recirculate materials and products necessitates that we have non-toxic material flows. As a consequence, companies able to offer non-toxic products from the start will have a competitive advantage. Consumer demand for non-toxic and recyclable products is also increasing steadily.
If a company has a process for handling hazardous substances, it means they also comply with an array of environmental and occupational health and safety requirements, which costs them time and money. Furthermore, implementing measures to reduce emissions is expensive. If you are able to reduce the volume of classified/restricted chemicals as early as the production stage, you will save money and have less impact on the environment.
Commencing with systematic chemical work and starting to phase out hazardous chemicals, which often perform a fundamental function in a process or product, may seem an insurmountable task. Keep in mind that you don’t have to do everything at once. Every step in the right direction is a good step.
The Swedish Centre for Chemical Substitution has methods and support materials to help you structure your work and get started. We can offer guidance and help with training.
Contact us and we will help you to get started and make progress in your efforts to phase out hazardous chemicals.