Synchronisation of chemical and waste legislation in the EU can be solved
The Circular Economy needs the same rules. Therefore a synchronisation of legislation is necessary. The EU commission has already started a participation process. The problem to be solved is based in the huge complexity: more than 3,300 materials or substances are known. Out of these about 2,000 are registered in the European data base REACH. Besides these materials are offered as compounds, which are multi-material products, such as plastic-metal compounds we find in electronic devices, windows, furniture or else. But the goal of circular economy is a better resource utility and a reduction of toxic substances.
Waste legislation is very different in the EU member states and it is different from the chemical legislation in the EU. One example is that one substance has more than one definitions. This leads to problems in identification and registration of new processes and products.
The three challenges are the lack of information, the definition of recycling and the definition of waste. But they can be solved easily:
If waste is only illegal substance, this will make the definitions easier. The databank could hold all necessary information about toxicity and present these with a traffic light: green showing no difficulties, red toxicity and yellow a test or laboratory phase. According to the philosophy of the Circular Economy there can only be one definition of recycling, which is the Cradle-to-Cradle principle. Life-Cycle-Assessments used as a tool can help organising material loops in a way that there will only be positive feedbacks for humans and nature.
These methods show, that new rules and legislation can be found easily and it’s time for action fighting climate crisis.