Finland: Helsinki Chemical Forum Chemical Safety in a Circular Economy

Editor: Alexander Stark

Chemical safety in the circular economy is non-negotiable – this is the view expressed by Peter Smith, Executive Director of Product Stewardship at Cefic – the EU chemical industry council, during a live panel debate at the Helsinki Chemical Forum.

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Helsinki/Finland – “Transitioning from a linear to a circular economy represents a challenge for industry, as we minimise the need for virgin natural resources and find clever solutions for reusing and recycling waste,” Peter Smith said at the forum.

In a position paper, Cefic mentions several critical steps which had to be implemented in order to ensure that the circular economy concept can be safely and effectively applied throughout the value chain:

• Recovery, recycling and reuse of resources must be managed safely for workers, consumers and the environment at every stage of the material cycle.

• Safe management of chemicals in a circular economy requires continued compliance with existing legislation on safe use of chemicals at every stage of the cycle.

• Recyclers and users of secondary raw materials should have the information required to safely manage and use these materials.

• We support the EU Commission proposal in the EU circular economy action plan to analyse the interface between EU chemicals, products and waste legislation.

• The EU circular economy strategy should remove unnecessary regulatory barriers to the circulation of resources and support investment in innovative technologies, while ensuring protection of human health and the environment.

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