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Europe | 15 April 2022

REACH 2: Shift the trend – 4 Demands to make safe chemicals the norm

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REACH 2: Shift the trend – 4 Demands to make safe chemicals the norm

The Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability adopted in October 2020 set the ambition to better protect citizens and the environment against hazardous chemicals – and that involved revising the main chemical law in the EU, REACH. If the main deficiencies of REACH are addressed through the reform and if a new and effective system of risk management is set up with adequate enforcement mechanisms to make sure it is complied with, then the goal of the Strategy will be achieved.

But there is a risk that the REACH reform becomes a missed opportunity, by failing to sufficiently and effectively accelerate and simplify the risk management of harmful chemicals.

Therefore as part of the public consultation on the REACH reform, we developed 4 demands for changes that we think will be instrumental in tackling the main weaknesses of the current system:

  1. Enable authorities to get all the information needed to regulate;
  2. Accelerate restrictions;
  3. Favour the front-runners, i.e. those who have invested in the transition towards safe and sustainable chemicals; and
  4. Strengthen accountability, to make sure REACH obligations are effectively enforced.