• November 19, 2018
  • Sofia

Integrating "Green Chemistry" into the Regulatory Framework of European Chemicals Policy | Study on behalf of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability



20 years ago the concept of “green chemistry” was formulated by Paul Anastas and John Warner. In the meantime the concept, laid down in a set of 12 principles, has found support in various arenas. This shift of mind was supported by enhancements of the legislative framework; not only in the European Union. Nevertheless industry actors – whilst generally supporting the idea – still see “cost and perception remain barriers to green chemistry uptake”. Thus, the questions arise how additional incentives as well as measures to address the barriers and impediments can be provided. 

An analysis addressing these questions has to take into account the institutional context for the relevant actors involved in the issue. And it has to reflect the problem perception of the different stakeholders. Remarkably a broad set of actors has expressed the willingness to change their attitude during the last months: a product sustainability and regulatory compliance manager with Google under the title “Innovation in safer chemistry and product design is critical for the circular economy” announced that Google has “embraced its principles of a circular economy. T

hese are − to design out the concept of waste; − to rebuild natural capital; and − to keep products, materials and molecules flowing effectively through the economy at their highest value.” At the same time consumer organisations ask for “full material disclosure” for consumer goods, meanwhile a cross-sectoral initiative consisting of producers, downstream users, brands and retailers are joining their forces in a “Proactive Alliance” in order to establish a “global inter-sector standard for communication on Substances in Articles” supporting the “full material disclosure” approach.

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