On the 25 April 2022, the European Commission published a “Restrictions Roadmap” as part of the EU’s Chemicals Strategy. It is in no way legally binding, but rather provides a view into future EU environmental compliance policy. The roadmap provides a list of groups of widely used chemicals of concern that will be targeted for restrictions at the European level in the coming years. This is important because this gives all stakeholders long-term visibility on planned regulatory action and thereby can facilitate existing and future substitution efforts towards safe alternatives.
The plan focuses on entire classes of chemical substances rather than regulating them individually or in small groups as is currently the case. The Restrictions Roadmap will use a group approach to regulating chemicals, in which the most harmful member of a chemical family defines legal restrictions for the whole family. If implemented as intended, thousands of chemical substances will rapidly be restricted in the EU. In total, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) has estimated the Restrictions Roadmap will lead to the restriction of roughly 5,000 to 7,000, but industry association CEFIC say that up to 12,000 substances could ultimately fall within the scope of the new proposal, which would constitute the world’s “largest ever ban of toxic chemicals”.
European Environmental Bureau ingles out 6 groups of chemicals to be restricted:
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and its additives
- PFAS (non-essential uses)
- Bisphenols, including BPA
- Flame retardants
- Chemicals in childcare products that cause cancer, genetic mutation or harm the reproductive system (CMRs)
- Toxic chemicals in single use nappies / diapers
The roadmap sets out priorities for the European Chemicals Agency before the revision of the REACH Regulation (estimated for 2027). According to the roadmap, the restriction process will begin within two years by between 2025 – 2027. All substances will be gone by 2030.
COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT Restrictions Roadmap under the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability:
Ekotox REACH Webpages: https://ekotox.eu/reach-regulation/