With the Green Deal as the central action plan of EU climate policy, the EU Commission has set itself the ambitious goal of making Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The measures announced in this plan will have far-reaching consequences for the chemical industry and thus also for the VdMi member companies.
The manifold topics
and issues relevant to the VdMi are usually taken up and discussed – and further processed, where necessary – by the VdMi’s technical departments and committees: i.e. expert groups, technical commissions and working parties. Some key issues are covered by several VdMi sectors; these issues are briefly described here.
Pigments and fillers are regulated in the EU like other chemical substances. The two main tools of EU chemicals regulation, the REACH and CLP Regulations, are subject to a continuous adaptation process. The VdMi supports its member companies in the interpretation and implementation of the manifold requirements.
The classification of the most important white pigment titanium dioxide as probably carcinogenic by inhalation affects many of the products represented in the VdMi. The association therefore accompanies the entire process and informs about the consequences for industry and consumers.
Pigments and fillers are produced with unaltered methods since decades and have been used for a long time. Thus, pigments and fillers are traditional materials and not so-called new nanomaterials, nor are their properties new. Various pigments and fillers available on the market have now – solely based on the novel definition recommendation (2001/696/EU) – to be considered as nanomaterials.
Our member companies supply pigments and fillers as well as mixtures (masterbatch, colour and additive preparations) for use in commodities made of various materials such as plastics or ceramics or in printing inks for printing materials and articles in contact with food.
The European Chemicals Agency has drawn up a proposal to restrict microplastics, in the sense of plastic waste in the environment. This proposal now addresses all polymers and practically all polymer-containing or polymer-coated mixtures with a particle size of 0.000001 mm to 5 mm and thus also many products of our member companies.
The members of the VdMi are integrated at different levels in the manufacturing of toy articles. The manufacturers of artist colours traditionally sell painting/drawing sets which are also defined as toys. The pigment manufacturers, as well as the manufacturers of masterbatches deliver raw materials or mixtures for the colouring of toys or parts thereof.
The Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) totals the greenhouse gas emissions of a product in CO2-equivalents during its life cycle. Starting from the exploitation (mining) of raw materials, through the production process and use phase to recycling and finally disposal.