Managing the Systemic Use of Chemicals in Europe

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Chemicals are embedded in practically every single manufactured good in the EU. On the one hand, chemicals play a key role in ensuring quality of life and offer new solutions to deliver the green and the digital transitions. On the other, our increasing reliance on chemicals leads to serious problems. From creating adverse health effects to contributing to the climate crisis, chemicals come with a cost — so much so that we have now exceeded the planetary boundary for chemical pollution. Where do we go from here? This briefing describes the systemic use of chemicals across Europe’s current systems of production and consumption. Moreover, it discusses key policy measures foreseen in the European Green Deal’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability that offer significant potential to ensure consumer safety, cut pollution and clean up material flows.

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