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European Commission adopts EU sustainable chemicals strategy

October 15/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The European Commission today adopted the EU's chemicals strategy for sustainability, describing it as the first step towards a zero-pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment announced in the European Green Deal, reported Chemweek.

The strategy includes actions that prohibit the use of the most harmful chemicals in consumer products such as toys, childcare articles, cosmetics, detergents, food contact materials, and textiles, unless proven essential for society, and ensures that all chemicals are used more safely and sustainably, the Commission says.

The strategy sets out concrete actions to make chemicals safe and sustainable by design, and to ensure that chemicals can deliver their benefits without harming the planet, and both current and future generations, according to the Commission. Several innovation and investment actions "will be foreseen to accompany the chemicals industry through this transition," it says, although no further details were provided. The strategy also draws the attention of EU member states to the possibilities of the Recovery and Resilience Facility to invest in the green and digital transition of EU industries, including in the chemical sector, according to the Commission.

We owe our well-being and high living standards to the many useful chemicals that people have invented over the past 100 years. However, we cannot close our eyes to the harm that hazardous chemicals pose to our environment and health. We have come a long way regulating chemicals in the EU, and with this strategy we want to build on our achievements and go further to prevent the most dangerous chemicals from entering into the environment and our bodies, and affecting especially the most fragile and vulnerable ones, says Virginijus Sinkevicius, Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries.

Some of the main initiatives of the strategy that aim to increase the protection of human health and the environment from harmful chemicals include the phasing out from consumer products of the most harmful substances, such as endocrine disruptors, chemicals that affect the immune and respiratory systems, and persistent substances such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), unless their use is proven essential for society. Others include minimizing and substituting as far possible the presence of substances of concern in all products; addressing the combination effect of chemicals (cocktail effect); and ensuring that producers and consumers have access to information on chemical content and safe use.

The actions announced in the strategy will support industrial innovation so that safer and more sustainable chemicals become the norm on the EU market and a benchmark worldwide, the Commission says. It aims to capture the economic opportunity that arises with this and enable the green transition of the chemicals sector and its value chains, it says.

Actions within the strategy that aim to boost innovation and promote the EU's competitiveness worldwide include developing safe-and-sustainable-by-design criteria and ensuring financial support for the commercialization and uptake of safe and sustainable chemicals; ensuring the development and uptake of safe and sustainable-by-design substances, materials and products through EU funding and investment instruments and public-private partnerships; and stepping up enforcement of EU rules considerably at the borders and in the single market. Others include putting in place an EU research and innovation agenda for chemicals, and simplifying and consolidating the EU legal framework.

The Commission says that it will promote safety and sustainability standards globally, lead by example, and promote a coherent approach so that hazardous substances banned in the EU are not produced for export.

The adoption by the Commission today is in line with the European Parliaments call on the Commission in July to come up with a strategy that effectively ensures health and the environment are well protected by minimizing exposure to hazardous chemicals, and includes measures to protect vulnerable groups such as children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and the elderly.

As MRC informed before, in mid-July, 2020, The European Commission approved PKN Orlens acquisition of Grupa Loto,. The approval is conditional on full compliance with a commitments package offered by PKN Orlen.

We remind that n H1 September 2019, Honeywell announced that PKN ORLEN had licensed the UOP MaxEne process, which can increase production of ethylene and aromatics and improve the flexibility of gasoline production. The project, for the PKN Orlen facility in Plock, Poland, currently is in the basic engineering stage. Honeywell UOP, a leading provider of technologies for the oil and gas industry, first commercialized the UOP MaxEne process in 2013. The process enables refiners and petrochemical producers to direct molecules within the naphtha feed to the processes that deliver the greatest value and improve yields of fuels and petrochemicals.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,496,500 tonnes in the first eight months of 2020, up by 5% year on year. Shipments of all ethylene polymers increased, except for linear low desnity polyethylene (LLDPE). At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 767,2900 tonnes in the eight months of 2020 (calculated using the formula - production minus exports plus imports - and not counting producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply increased exclusively of PP random copolymer.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Europe, PP, PE, LLDPE, crude and gaz condensate, propylene, ethylene, petrochemistry, Interchemgroup, Grupa Lotos SA, PKN Orlen, sustainable development, Poland, Russia.
Category:General News
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