ECHA promotes substitution to safer chemicals through innovation



Substituting hazardous substances with safer alternatives, contributes to a non-toxic environment, a circular economy and promotes innovation, as well as sustainable production and consumption. ECHA’s new substitution strategy aims to support companies to replace substances of concern with safer substances and technologies.

REACHCLP and the Biocidal Products regulations are designed to put pressure on and provide incentives for industry to try to replace hazardous substances with less harmful ones. By implementing these regulations successfully, ECHA directly and indirectly supports substitution.

ECHA’s new strategy aims to boost the substitution of chemicals of concern throughout the EU in different ways. It aims to improve access to ECHA data and increase the capacity of Member States and stakeholders to carry out analyses of alternatives by offering support for innovation and by providing opportunities for networking.

Successful substitution is underpinned by research and development (R&D). So, the strategy looks at ways to help companies innovate and invest in R&D. Since the strategy is linked to current EU priorities on a circular economy, a non-toxic environment and sustainable production and use of chemicals, it calls for coordinated, EU-wide actions that take into account the life cycle of products.

A stronger foundation for substituting chemicals of concern in the EU is needed. This calls for a change in mindset where substitution is seen as a business opportunity that brings benefits to human health and the environment, rather than as a response to regulatory action.

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