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ECHA Sector Approach on Plastics Additives Published

EuPC & EuMBC Joint Press Release

We are proud to announce the closure and final publication of a joint project started by EuPC and EuMBC for plastics masterbatchers, compounders and converters, together upstream suppliers of plastics additives (CEFIC and other associations) and polymers (Plastics Europe) and the European Chemicals Agency started in 2016” said Geoffroy Tillieux, Technical Director of EuPC. The supply chain had already been actively cooperating since the start of the REACH regulation in joint projects such as the development of the Plastics Exposure Scenario Tool focusing on uses from the manufacturing of the additives until the use in the plastics converting operation. This new project was more geared towards end use and involved the European Chemicals Agency together with the supply chain actors.

Already in 2018, the EuPC and EuMBC Use Maps for masterbatching, compounding, and converting processes were published in order to facilitate 2018 registrations.

The new deliverables described on the ECHA website consist of the following.

  1. A verified inventory of the most common additives used above 100T in plastics, including information on their function, the type of polymer where additives are used and their concentration.

  2. A methodology in order to estimate the relative additives release potential from plastics matrices (mouthing, skin, outdoor).

  3. The application of this methodology to additives within the domain of applicability of the method.

These deliverables are a contribution to the automated screening by ECHA. In the next step, Member States and ECHA shall further prioritize which additives should be subject to an evaluation based on other information such as substances hazardousness, uncertainties and the results of the manual screening (the in depth review of the information available in registration dossiers).

Only at this stage is the risk assessment as documented in the registration dossier actually considered, including the assessment of the actual exposure from plastics articles, which depend on many parameters, such as the application of use, the set-up of the article (often multilayered), its geometry, where and how it is used. More information may be required if necessary during the evaluation. The project does, in addition, indicate some routes where presentation of information in registration dossiers may need to be harmonized, and mapping of applications and modelling of releases from articles may need to be further developed triggering need for further cooperation across the supply chain between manufacturer importers and downstream users.

Marc Cornu, President of EuMBC (European Masterbatchers and Compounders) added: “the key learnings and takeaways from this project are an improved communication across the supply chain and a further demonstration of the need for strong cooperation between different stakeholders, including authorities, in order to generate reliable data on plastics additives and uses. It also potentially allows authorities to better focus their resources in their evaluation”.

We are looking forward reconvening after the completion of the screening process in order to verify the usefulness of the information gathered and how to further assist in the smooth management of the evaluation process.

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