One of the goals of the workshop was to focus on key learnings from past challenges brought on by REACH. The two-day event was also an opportunity to keep SMEs in the plastics value chain up to date regarding the latest developments regarding REACH, including practical tools and solutions developed by EuPC to facilitate the fulfilment of REACH obligations. Indeed, the implementation of REACH has thus far covered the registrations of big and medium volumes chemicals, the first authorisations and restrictions, but there are new challenges ahead that will need to be faced.
Geoffroy Tillieux, EuPC Technical Department Director & PCE Regulatory Compliance Director opened the workshop: “In order to be successful and manage raw materials in a strategic way, plastics converters, masterbatchers and their downstream users should early on identify the key substances that may be under scrutiny and should exchange information on their uses and exposure from the onset.” He presented the rights and obligations for the plastics supply chain. Dr Bernhard Mahlberg from the Institute for Industrial Research evaluated the impact of REACH on the affected industries and Austria’s economy, a report commissioned by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management.
Various aspects of REACH registrations were covered by industry experts such as Roger Van Der Linden, PlasticsEurope REACH Committee Chairman, who discussed the notifications of nanomaterials. The registration in 2018 and orphan substances were presented by Karin Van de Velde, Secretary General of the REACH Orphan Substance Consortium. Venelin Marinov, Advisor to the Bulgarian Association Polymers, explained the duties of importers and only representatives. Furthermore, Patrick de Kort of PCE demonstrated the example of the Plastics Exposure Scenario Tool (PESTOOL) developed by the plastics industry to best understand risk management measures.
Urban Boije, Policy Officer of the Unit Chemicals at DG Environment, began Thursday’s session on recycling and the circular economy by presenting the European Commission’s vision for integrating recycling within the circular economy. Maurice Funcken of Nissan discussed the challenges of recycling automotive applications in relation to the latest REACH developments. Closing the session, Eric Vandevijver from Inovyn/VinyLoop shared past experiences with application for authorisations for uses of soft PVC recyclates containing legacy DEHP.