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The Potential Effects of New European Chemicals Regulations on the Plastics Processing Industry

SpecialChem / Nov 2, 2007

On 1st June this year, a new piece of chemicals legislation came into force in the European Union. Whilst on June 1st itself the regulation had very little effect on the way industry works, the fact that it entered into force means that several changes in the way chemicals are regulated in the EU will occur at specific points in time up until 2018. This ticking clock is not going to be stopped and it is imperative that all "actors" in the supply chain are aware of their obligations and act accordingly within the timescales laid down by the regulation. If the above was news to you then you will need to know that the legislation is called REACH, standing for the Registration, Evaluation, Restriction and Authorisation of Chemicals. This changes the way chemicals are regulated in the EU and passes the burden of proof of safety from authorities to industry. In short this means that if you are buying a plastics additive from a supplier you need to ensure that he or she has carried out their obligations for that additive.

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