Technological watch

EuPC denounces EU vote on lead limits in recycled PVC 

The European Plastics Convertors (EuPC) trade association has rejected a recent vote by the European Parliament’s Environment Committee (ENVI) which it says will “seriously damage” the circular economy of plastics in Europe.
In a 21 Jan vote, the committee objected to a European Commission proposal allowing a higher concentration of lead in recycled PVC.
The Commission had proposed to amend the rules concerning the concentration of lead  in PVC items, setting a maximum concentration limit  of 0,1% by weight of the PVC material.
The amendment also introduced two derogations for recycled PVC materials. One would allow concentration of lead up to 2% by weight of rigid PVC and the other 1% by weight of flexible/soft PVC.
In their vote, the MEPs said they were “unhappy” with the two proposed derogations, which will remain in place for 15 years.
The committee members said the proposed amendments did not protect human health and the environment enough, which is also the primary objective of the REACH regulation.
In reaction to the MEPs’ decision, EuPC Managing Director Alexandre Dangis said the trade association regretted the “hasty motion”.
The vote, he went on to say, failed to note five years of assessment by the European Chemical Agency, Commission and member states which concluded that recycling was the best waste management option from an environmental and human health point of view. 
“Should this motion be adopted in the European Parliament Plenary, it would seriously compromise the success of the Circular Plastics Alliance initiated by the Commission,” the EuPC warned.
The resolution was adopted with 42 votes in favour, 22 against and 4 abstentions. According to the Environment Committee, the motion will now be put to a vote at the February plenary in Strasbourg.
If Parliament objects within the deadline set of 27 Feb, the draft measure will not be adopted by the Commission. The Commission may then either submit an amended draft or present a new one.

Publication date: 22/01/2020

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Last update: 2022-01-31