MCEC NEWSLETTER – DECEMBER 2019
Welcome again to the bi-annual Microbial Control Executive Council (MCEC) news update. Many thanks for your continued interest in our work to promote the benefits of antimicrobial technologies and the wide-ranging advantages they bring to society.
It is the first time I am writing to you since my election as chairman of the MCEC last October. A Spanish national, I happily dedicated years of my life to the chemical industry, having worked for Dow and for Cefic, the umbrella European organisation of which MCEC is a sector group. Since 2018, I am Global Industry Leader for Industrial Preservation at DuPont Microbial Control.
I am looking forward to continuing the excellent work conducted by the previous chairman, Michael Schäfer, and I would like to thank him for the way he brilliantly drove the group’s activities during the past years. Far from resting on our laurels, MCEC membership has reflected this year on ambitious plans to continue promoting microbial control technologies in the coming years.
As part of our plans, one of the key areas that we have decided to strengthen in this new period for MCEC is to establish a dialogue with policymakers about the benefits that Microbial Control brings to Society. We are currently finetuning the strategy to become more visible but also more relevant to the current European political environment, and we are all excited with what’s to come.
This journey starts with the introduction of the new sector group manager, Paul Girard, who started last summer and will support the MCEC, replacing Paul Anselme who now has left Cefic for a well-deserved retirement. Find out more about Paul Girard in our interview below.
this December newsletter allows us to reflect on the activities we undertook as a group in 2019, such as the MCEC’s presence at the Plastics and Rubber K Fair in Düsseldorf, and at the European Regulatory Forum on Coatings in Brussels. With 2020 around the corner, it is also the perfect opportunity to envisage what the European Commission is currently ‘cooking’ for the next five years and beyond, namely a ‘Green Deal’ political agenda that will steer all efforts to protect the environment while making the European Union a place of business opportunities.
Global Industry Leader for Industrial Preservation at DuPont Microbial Control, MCEC Chairman
A WORD FROM MCEC’S NEW MANAGER, PAUL GIRARD
Who are you and where do you come from?
My name is Paul Girard, no fancy middle names. I come from France, and before joining Cefic, I was the public affairs manager of a trade association based in Brussels working on chemistry and consumer goods.
What did your previous role look like?
As a public affairs manager, I mostly engaged with decision-makers on critical issues and fascinating chemical topics. Slowly but surely, I became a connoisseur of the functioning of the European institutions and I dare to say I know how to navigate this very peculiar political environment.
What did you know about microbial control before joining MCEC?
My previous experience introduced me to the technicalities of preserving food and non-food products, and the critical risks of not having these technologies for the safety of the end-consumers. Now as MCEC manager, I discover day after day the numerous benefits coming from the use of these technologies, from energy savings, to diseases control and the strengthening of industrial facilities.
How will you work with members of MCEC and stakeholders interested in microbial control technologies?
My main objective for MCEC is to re-position this industry in a way that resonates even further with the European political environment. This was the strategy laid out by the MCEC members in 2019 and I am excited to provide relevant support towards this objective. As you can read below, the European Commission is about to launch one of the most – perhaps the most ever – environmental plan to make Europe a climate-neutral continent by 2050. I want to make sure that there is a place in this plan, for microbial control technologies.
Do you have big plans for MCEC?
Since my arrival coincides with a lot of newcomers in the European Institutions in Brussels, I will make sure that MCEC is known to all key decision-makers that are influential to the future of the regulatory framework for chemicals and biocidal products. I will also seek for support across the value chain so that benefits from microbial control are even shared further. Last but not least, I will reach out, with the help of José and the members, to European decision-makers in the Commission and the Parliament to highlight our contribution to the achievement of EU objectives.
MICROBIAL CONTROL: AN ENABLER FOR THE GREEN DEAL
Appointed on December 1st, the European Commission has announced a “European Green Deal”, a strategic plan aiming at making Europe the first ever climate-neutral continent. Not only designed as an overarching framework that should drive all legislative actions within the next five years of the European Union, it is also considered a narrative that will ensure Europe’s future and its place at global level.
Preserving Europe’s natural capital, achieving a zero-pollution environment and climate neutrality, making energy cleaner, more reliable and affordable, transitioning to a circular economy, modernising the common agricultural policy, etc. The plan is – on paper –as ambitious as it can get.
At MCEC, we welcome these objectives. Achieving progress in these areas would significantly improve citizens lives while providing the rest of the world the evidence that preserving the economy and the environment is possible. But additionally, because microbial control technologies are essential in that regard.
Microbial control can protect industrial facilities to ensure a more sustainable production and use of energy resources. It helps preserve materials such as wood, plastic or paints, so that consumers can enjoy longer the products they like and avoid unnecessary waste. It plays a crucial role in making sure that viruses and bacteria cannot spread and endanger human and animal lives, notably for the latter in the context of farming installations. It ensures that tap water and food products remain safe and protected from unfortunate contamination.
Microbial control technologies are not only essential for logical safety reasons, but they can also play a substantial role in supporting the ever biggest European political agenda designed for the protection of the environment and the future of the European Union.
Microbial control technologies are here to make the “Green Deal” a reality!
Paul Girard, MCEC Manager
THE ROLE OF BIOCIDES IN PLASTICS
Biocides offer a solution to the global issue of plastic waste. Plastic may suffer from long exposure to the environment, such as air, water or UV filters. By adding biocidal substances, plastics can be preserved, replacement costs will be reduced, and plastic waste can be avoided.
MCEC shared this message at K 2019, the world’s premier fair for the plastics and rubber industry. , Frank Cangelosi from Troy and Michael Schäfer from Lanxess, represented MCEC and highlighted the role of microbial control technologies in preserving plastics. They also seized the opportunity to engage with stakeholders about the various challenges biocides are currently facing in the EU and the potential impact these challenges could have on plastics.
To amplify their message, Frank and Michael shared their views in a video. Don’t hesitate to share these videos with your contacts!
BIOCIDES IN COATINGS: A CHALLENGING BUSINESS
“One of the key factors currently preoccupying the paints, inks and coatings industry is undoubtedly the Biocidal Product Regulation” said Jose Mosquera from Dupont at the European Coatings Regulatory Forum on 27 November in Brussels.
As representative of MCEC, Jose introduced participants to the current state of play and future trend for the European BPR. He illustrated this by sharing specific applications that are likely to face increased and stricter regulatory scrutiny.
“The BPR makes an explicit reference to the precautionary principle” Jose continued. “This principle implies that strict regulatory measures should be implemented when scientific uncertainties remain on a possible harm from technologies to human health and the environment. This is challenging for the development of new and innovative technologies in the field of microbial control, given the intrinsic nature of these technologies towards agents that are proven to be sometimes even more harmful to living beings and industrial infrastructures”.
The presentation was followed up by a lively Q&A session which also focused on future trends in microbial control technologies such as the promotion of formulation technologies, the formulation of co-biocides to reduce concentration per active, and new ways to control microbes such as natural substances or functional surfaces.