APPLiA: Where does the home appliance sector stand at the crossroads between chemical, product and waste policies?


APPLiA Europe has recently organized a webinar about the EU Chemical Strategy for Sustainability with the aim to discuss the importance of the ecodesign phase for preventing future chemical pollution, a subject involving also home appliances. «It is in the design phase of products – explains Finn Pedersen, seconded national expert at the European Commission and keynote speaker of APPLiA’s webinar – that the environmental impact is determined for their entire lifetime, and this is where the key concept of safe and sustainable products by design comes in». He also stressed the importance of reducing the presence of substances of concern while increasing the use of recycled materials. Over the past years, the ambitious goals set by the European Green Deal called for an increased focus on the use of harmful substances in products. «Data show that over 80% of European citizens are concerned about the impact that chemicals can have on their daily lives and the environment, and we need to take care of this – stated Peter van der Zandt, director of risk management at the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) -. Increasing protection of children, professional users, workers and consumers in general, is one of ECHA’s main prerogatives, while supporting the work of the EU Commission in taking up all the action points envisioned by the EU Chemical Strategy.» Where does the home appliance sector stand at the crossroads between chemical, product and waste policies? Lara Carrier, APPLiA’s Environment & Chemicals Policy Manager, provided the overview of the home appliance sector in Europe. «While APPLiA welcomes the new EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability as it commits to harmonise, simplify and strengthen the EU rules on chemicals – she started – we believe discussion is needed among all relevant stakeholders to define criteria and properly assess and manage chemicals in Europe. A risk-based assessment methodology should remain the fundamental principle.” APPLiA drafted a position paper providing the European Commission with the views of the sector and further recommendations regarding the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, as part of the European Green Deal.» Building on the valuable contributions offered by the panellists, Paolo Falcioni, APPLiA’s Director General, closed the webinar by outlining that «the challenges presented by the EU Chemicals Strategy are not negligible ones, however digitalisation, together with the creation of a single market for waste will be essential elements to help tackle the dimension of the issue.» To read the webinar presentation click here.