The plasticisers industry calls for regulatory predictability to enable protection of consumer health as well as competitiveness and growth

The European Council for plasticisers and Intermediates (ECPI) is pleased to learn that the REACH Committee has confirmed the Authorisation of the recycling of flexible PVC made with DEHP, based on the recommendation of the ECHA Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) and the Committee for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC).


This decision has been taken in accordance with the two RAC’s opinions (2012 on restrictions and 2014 on Authorisation[1]) issued during the last four years confirming the absence of risk from the use of DEHP in articles to the general population. The Authorisation of DEHP in recycled PVC is also in line with the objectives of the Circular Economy set by the European Commission for the efficient use of resources.


Consistent with that decision ECPI now calls on the REACH Committee to confirm the Authorisation of the use of DEHP in PVC compounding and the manufacture of original PVC articles as also recommended by the ECHA RAC and SEAC in September 2014.  “These decisions represent a step towards greater regulatory predictability which is essential for competitiveness and growth” stated Michela Mastrantonio, spokesperson of ECPI. The case of DEHP represents an important precedent for many chemical substances which are undergoing the REACH authorization/restriction process. “The regulatory authorities and the industry should work together to ensure that all stakeholders, including the value chain, can trust the legislative procedure and jointly contribute to enhance health, safety and sustainability, as well as  ensuring growth, competitiveness and innovation in the EU chemical industry” – she continued.


To the contrary, ECHA and the Danish EPA are now proposing broad restrictions of the same phthalates in articles for which RAC has already concluded that there is no risk.


“We believe this is not consistent for ECHA to now propose these restrictions in conjunction with the Danish EPA” commented Mastrantonio. The plasticisers industry is calling for a robust science- based approach so that technical decisions are taken without political influence and regulations are based on weight of evidence.


“We call on the European Commission, ECHA and the Member States to follow the opinion of the expert bodies, the RAC and SEAC, and confirm the previous recommendations to grant the Authorisation of DEHP for use in PVC articles. ECPI also calls for restrictions only for non-authorised uses, thereby protecting public health and ensuring a level playing field for EU industry versus importers of articles manufactured outside the EU.” – stressed Mastrantonio. “We hope that the RAC and SEAC will address these points during the required conformity check of the restrictions dossier and propose revision in accordance with the REACH restrictions process” she concluded.


[1] ECHA press statement 2012:  ;ECHA press statement 2014