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Feature article: CEFIC responds to Chemical Strategy for Sustainability

Europe's main trade association for chemicals gave a mixed greeting to the European Commissions's new sustainability strategy

The European Commission (EC) has published a new Chemical Strategy for Sustainability and invited the European Parliament and the Council to endorse this and to contribute to its implementation. It envisages revising REACH “in the most targeted way possible”, while also taking other initiatives to improve legislation.

CEFIC: Increase in non-compliant article imports

According to an analysis by CEFIC of data reported through the EU’s Safety Gate, 2020 saw a steep increase in imports of hand sanitisers that were not compliant with the EU chemicals safety rules. These were either not marked as flammable or containing methanol, as required by EU Classification & Labelling rules, or had insufficient ethanol to kill viruses, as required by the Biocides Regulation, CEFIC noted.

CEFIC: EU production down in 2020

The European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) has reported that EU27 chemical production fell by 1.9% from 2019 to 2020. It expects 3% and 22% growth in 2021 and 2022 respectively. However, “longer-term economic outlook remains highly uncertain due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its continued economic impacts”.

CEFIC calls for EU recovery plan

Ahead of the European Council meeting on 17 July, CEFIC called on EU member states “to urgently agree an EU Recovery Plan to restart Europe’s economy and kick off investments towards a green and digital transition”.

According to the association, COVID-19 has been “a timely reminder that Europe needs its own robust industrial capacity” and such a plan could turn the crisis into “an opportunity to build a more resilient European economy whilst delivering on the European Green Deal objectives”. The chemicals industry will be critical to this.

2019 a difficult year, associations say

The European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and Germany’s Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI) have all released year-end figures indicating a decline in chemical production this year.

59 sign up to CEFIC Action Plan

CEFIC has announced that, to date, 59 chemical producers in Europe have signed up to the Action Plan to re-evaluate their chemical safety data, which it launched in late June.
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