Why you need to think about the harmful substances in your products

Why you need to think about the harmful substances in your products

newest world population estimate It is indicated that the world population will reach 10 billion in the year 2055 and 11 billion in 2088. Average population growth is estimated to be 83 million people per year, or 1.1% annually.

Due to explosive population growth and the way we live, it is no surprise that we are running out of resources. For decades, we have manufactured, used and discarded products. Vast amounts of valuable resources – many reusable – have been destroyed through our waste.

2016: A turning point

Two years ago, the European Commission issued a . decided to implement circular economy action plan, This means that European businesses will have to think about how they design products and do business from now on. As part of this action plan, the EU Commission adopted a new set of measures, which include: EU strategy for plastics in a circular economy in January 2018.

In addition, EU ambassadors have recently endorsed the provisional agreement on amendments to the four EU waste directives. This new law will contribute to the creation of a circular economy.

Fact Box: What is ‘Circular Economy’?
A circular economy is a regenerative system in which resource inputs and waste, emissions and energy leakage are minimized by slowing down, closing and reducing energy and material loops. This can be achieved through long-lasting design, maintenance, repair, reuse, re-manufacturing, refurbishment and closed recycling loops.

In a circular economy, it must pay to repair a product. It should be possible to split it into parts, clean it, and reassemble it. The parts may also be used in another product, or the material may be retrieved and incorporated into new ones.

The circular economy is also about to change our view of ownership. It will gradually become more common to lease a product, and for a manufacturer to sell a service rather than a commodity.

The European Commission expects that introducing a circular economy could result in net savings of 600 billion euros per year.

How can we ensure that our products – or their various parts – stay in circulation?

The answer is simple: We should avoid problematic substances, especially substances of great concern. These include carcinogenic and mutagenic substances and substances toxic to reproduction. These types of substances prevent us from closing the cycle as they eventually end up as useless waste.

The next question is, ‘How do I know which substances are problematic? Is there a list somewhere?’ If you are not an expert in chemical substances, take the help of a knowledgeable person to handle it.

an exposure-screen device

A risk-screen tool, as we have developed, allows comparison of human and environmental exposures of several alternative substances to a specific product. Various substances are rated according to their perceived risk, making it an easy way for your business to move towards a circular economy. Connect with us to know more.

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