“At MCEC, we believe microbial control is essential to the success of the European Green Deal” said Paul Girard, Manager of the Microbial Control Executive Council, at the Biocides Europe 2020 event of Chemical Watch on 2 December 2020, “yet the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability has raised a lot of questions for many stakeholders”.

The three pillars of microbial control – conserving energy and resources, sustainability and materials preservation, and protecting health and well-being – are a great fit with the Green Deal priorities. The Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, part of the Green Deal package, will determine how impactful microbial control can remain.

Paul raises the following considerations: Will increased emphasis on hazardous properties of chemicals become the sole trigger for regulatory action? Will new proposed hazard categories increase hazard-based classifications of substances, and how? How are new concepts like ‘essential use’ and ‘safe and sustainable design’ developed further? Will a more restrictive regulatory approach serve as the unique driver for innovation? What are the tools to incentivise other continents to follow the European approach?

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