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15 Oct 2020

EC adopts EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability

The European Commission (EC) has adopted an EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability. The Commission regards this Strategy, which was presented on 14 October 2020, as the first step towards a zero pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment announced in the European Green Deal. The Strategy is intended to boost innovation for safe and sustainable chemicals, and increase protection of human health and the environment against hazardous chemicals.

The Strategy sets out concrete actions to make chemicals safe and sustainable by design and to ensure that chemicals can deliver all their benefits without harming the planet and current and future generations. Amongst others, it provides several innovation and investment actions to accompany the chemicals industry through this transition. The Strategy also draws the attention of 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. 

With regard to "Boosting innovation and promoting EU's competitiveness", the EC aims for the actions announced in the Strategy to support industrial innovation so that such chemicals become the norm on the EU market and a benchmark worldwide. The actions envisaged include, amongst others, putting in place an EU research and innovation agenda for chemicals:

  • Developing safe-and-sustainable-by-design criteria and ensuring financial support for the commercialisation 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;
  • Considerably stepping up enforcement of EU rules both at the borders and in the single market;
  • Putting in place an EU research and innovation agenda for chemicals, to fill knowledge gaps on the impact of chemicals, promote innovation and move away from animal testing;
  • Simplifying and consolidating the EU legal framework – e.g. by introducing the ‘One substance one assessment' process, strengthening the principles of 'no data, no market' and introducing targeted amendments to REACH and sectorial legislation, to name a few.

For more information:

EC - press release

Communication on Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability: Towards a toxic-fee environment

Questions and Answers on Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability

Factsheet on Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability

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