MRC -- Civil society organisations welcome the publication of the investigation report on PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and its additives by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), said Zerowasteeurope.
The findings clearly indicate environmental damage and harm to health from some substances added to PVC and the release of its microparticles.
More than 60 environmental NGOs are calling on the European Commission to phase-out PVC by 2030. Therefore they are pushing for a restriction on the harmful plastic and its additives under the REACH regulation.
The ECHA report sheds light on the damaging health and environmental impacts that PVC poses, some of which have been known for decades. The harmfulness of its additives is highlighted. ECHA moreover confirms the existence of safe alternatives across applications. The report supports the conclusion that we need immediate action by EU policy makers to reduce the risks of PVC and its additives. We therefore ask the Commission to act on PVC, as set out in the Restrictions Roadmap under the Chemical Strategy for Sustainability, and swiftly mandate ECHA to prepare an ambitious restriction under the REACH regulation as a first step to facilitate a complete phase-out of this material by 2030.
The NGOs see the need for this restriction to not only include single problematic substances or groups of additives, but also the production, use and placing on the market of PVC itself. Only essential uses of PVC, for which no safer alternatives are available and which are needed to protect our health or safety or are critical for society – should in their view be allowed under strictly controlled conditions.
In its role as a global model for chemical regulation, we also call on the European Commission and its Member States to demand a global ban of PVC under the new Global Plastics Treaty.
The European Commission already acknowledged the risks of PVC back in 2000 in a Green Paper titled Environmental issues of PVC. Since then the scientific evidence has compounded; the lifecycle of PVC products has been associated with numerous health complications, including endocrine disruption, reproductive impairment, cancer, neurotoxicity, immune system suppression and respiratory irritation.
The NGOs trust that the Commission will take its responsibility seriously and take long-overdue action on PVC.
We remind, Asahimas Chemical, a prominent subsidiary of the renowned Japanese petrochemical giant Asahi Glass, has successfully concluded comprehensive repair operations on Vinyl Chloride Line 3 at its facility in Cilegon, Indonesia. The facility, boasting an impressive annual capacity of 400 thousand tons of Vinyl Chloride Monomer (VCM), underwent meticulous repair activities aimed at addressing operational challenges.