European plasticiser industry is concerned about the European Parliament Environment Committee’s objection to the Authorisation of recycled soft PVC containing DEHP

Brussels, 10 November 2015The European Council for Plasticisers and Intermediates – ECPI -   is disappointed and concerned by the European Parliament’s Environment Committee’s vote in favour of a motion for a resolution against the Commission proposal to authorise the use of DEHP in recycled soft PVC. The final parliamentary opinion is yet to be taken in plenary sitting and will be followed by the European Commission’s final decision - with no obligation to reflect the European Parliament’s opinion.

Although the European Commission proposal to grant the Authorisation of flexible PVC recycling containing DEHP fully respects REACH, today’s ENVI Committee’s vote questions the legitimacy of this process. “ECPI fully recognises and respects the right of scrutiny of the European Parliament over implementing acts, but in the present case the Commission has been strictly adhering to its mandate under REACH. Moreover, the outcome of the vote indicates that only political arguments have been taken into account, undermining the importance of the scientific assessment and disregarding the Commission’s procedural rights”, commented Stéphane Content, General Manager of ECPI.

In September 2014, ECHA’s Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) and Socioeconomic Analysis Committee (SEAC), based on an extensive evaluation of all available data, recommended the Authorisation of DEHP for use in specific applications including recycled soft PVC containing DEHP. The European Commission endorsement of ECHA’s recommendation would be the outcome of a complex process involving experts from European Member States and the relevant ECHA committees.

Furthermore, ECPI is concerned that, if the rejection of the proposal for Authorisation is pushed through, it would undermine recycling for uses which have been proven to be safe - opening a much wider debate around European waste management and the Circular Economy, the latter being strongly supported by the European Commission and the European Parliament.

“PVC has the advantage that it can be recycled without loss of performance and with no risk for human health and the environment. The alternatives to recycling are incineration and landfilling leading to an outright loss of valuable materials”- stated Content. “PVC recycling enhances resources efficiency, reduces emissions and brings environmental benefits.”

“We call on the European institutions to base their final decision on scientific evidence and the full respect of REACH procedure, while fostering the Circular Economy. We hope for a positive confirmation to be finally given to the Authorisation for the continued use of recycled soft PVC containing DEHP to produce PVC articles and the formulation of recycled soft PVC containing DEHP in compounds and dry-blends”.