Chemical strategy: The European Green Pact
Chemicals are essential to the well-being, high standard of living and comfort of modern society. They are used in many sectors, including health, energy, mobility and housing.
However, most chemicals have hazardous properties that can harm the environment and health.
The EU already has sophisticated laws on chemical use, but global production of chemicals is expected to double by 2030. The already widespread use of chemicals will also increase, including in consumer products.
The European Commission published a chemicals strategy for sustainability on 14 October 2020. It is part of the EU’s zero pollution ambition, which is a key commitment of the European Green Pact.
- To better protect citizens and the environment
- To drive innovation for safe and sustainable chemicals
Actions to be carried out:
- Prohibit the most harmful chemicals in consumer products, allowing their use only where essential.
- Take into account the cocktail effect of chemicals when assessing chemical risk.
- Phase out the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the EU, unless their use is essential.
- To boost investment and innovative capacity for the production and use of chemicals that are safe and sustainable by design and throughout their life cycle.
- To promote the resilience of the EU supply and sustainability of critical chemicals.
- To establish a simpler “one substance, one substance assessment” process for the risk and hazard assessment of chemicals.
- To play a leading role at global level by defending and promoting high standards and not exporting chemicals banned in the EU.