The key guiding principle of the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS) published in October 2020 is to eliminate hazardous substances from products. The EU Green Deal acknowledges that chemical pollution is detrimental to both human health and ecosystems. The design of products including the material composition, their production processes, their final treatment and controlled material loops play a key role in shifting towards a toxic-free environment in a circular economy. Effective measures include the substitution of hazardous substances and reducing the overall level of consumption.
However, to date, chemicals only play a minor role in product policy.
This briefing sets out key elements of future product legislation to ensure hazardous substances are avoided and substituted with safe alternatives. Where hazardous substances cannot be substituted, the key legal elements ensure that their content is minimised and disclosed to the relevant stakeholders.