Brussels, 14 May 2020 – The Polyolefin Circular Economy Platform (PCEP) organised an online training workshop about plastics and the European Union’s REACH legislation together with expert knowledge partner Marcus Navin-Jones of the international law firm Keller & Heckman LLP.
56 participants joined the two-hour workshop, which looked at how polymers are dealt with under REACH. The training session provided PCEP members with insight into how plastics and polymers are currently addressed in the context of the REACH Regulation and also discussed two cases that have developed the legal framework on key aspects. The first example looked at the nonylphenol ethoxylate/ octylphenol ethoxylate – two polymer substances whose sale and use were banned after inclusion in Annex XIV REACH on the basis of their degradation products. The workshop looked at what this case means for polymers generally – and how some polymers may be banned under REACH in the future.
The second example looked at the recycling of polymeric materials – and the problems that REACH, particularly REACH Authorisation, is causing some recyclers. Navin-Jones explained how a Court Judgment handed down last year shed light on when recyclers need to get permission (REACH Authorisation) from the European Commission to sell and use substances in recycled materials – and the problems this may cause recyclers in practice.
The discussion with participants highlighted some very interesting, and often challenging, aspects of how the legal framework interacts with our common goal to establish a low-carbon circular economy. The interactions between policies and laws applying to polyolefins require a close review to see how best to advance the transformation to a circular economy that produces, safe, eco-friendly products and business models that maintain materials at their highest value in a circular economy for as long as possible.
After the meeting, Venetia Spencer, PCEP Secretary General, said: “I’d like to thank Keller & Heckman, and in particular Marcus Navin-Jones, for sharing his expertise during this very important training for our members. These trainings are crucial to help our industry understand the complexities and manage the challenging transformation from a linear to a circular polyolefins system. However, once completed, this systemic shift will build long-term resilience, generate new business and economic opportunities, and provide both environmental and societal benefits.”
PCEP looks forward to holding future training workshops related to the circular polyolefin economy. If you have a topic you would like to see addressed let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org