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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/28820

Title: REACH in a circular economy: The obstacles for plastics recyclers and regulators
Authors: De Römph, Thomas
Van Calster, Geert
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: WILEY
Citation: REVIEW OF EUROPEAN COMPARATIVE & INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAW, 27(3), p. 267-277
Abstract: The European Union (EU) Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) applies to chemical substances on their own, in mixtures or in articles. Manufacturers using either virgin or recycled substances have to comply with these rules, which do not explicitly distinguish between the two sources. This contribution considers REACH in the circular economy, with a particular focus on its role in the circularity of plastics through recycling. We show that the lack of information about the specific composition of the plastic waste arriving at the recycling facility greatly affects the ability of recyclers to comply with REACH. Over and above several other obstacles plastics recyclers encounter, this creates legal uncertainty about the use of recycled plastics and uncertainty about their market outlet. The recycling industry can in effect either choose to carry on in a regulatory vacuum or to continue the old, linear as opposed to circular scenario. On the face of it, this hardly supports the circular economy philosophy. We reflect how EU regulators may reconcile the objectives of creating a low-risk life cycle of plastics (REACH) with the creation of a cycle with enough throughputs of plastics (Waste Framework Directive). We also propose practical solutions.
Notes: [de Romph, Thomas J.] Katholieke Univ Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. [de Romph, Thomas J.] Hasselt Univ, Hasselt, Belgium. [Van Calster, Geert] Univ Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. [Van Calster, Geert] Monash Univ, Melbourne, Vic, Australia. [Van Calster, Geert] Kings Coll London, London, England. [Van Calster, Geert] China EU Sch Law, Beijing, Peoples R China.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/28820
DOI: 10.1111/reel.12265
ISI #: 000453401400007
ISSN: 2050-0386
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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