A list of over 400 substances used in the EU as additives in plastics is available on ECHA’s website. It is based on the technical functions of additives and data provided by industry on substances manufactured or imported at above 100 tonnes per year. It covers substances used as antioxidants, antistatics, flame retardants, nucleating agents, plasticizers, pigments, heat stabilizers, and UV/light stabilizers. Information on the polymer types that the additives are most commonly found in and the expected concentration ranges are also provided.
The list is assembled by ECHA and representatives of 21 industry sectors (including both additive manufacturers and downstream users) in cooperation with cefic (European Chemical Industry Council), academics, and EU Member State representatives. The work included developing a method for comparing the potential of additives to be released from plastic articles during their use.
The project aims to assist industry to determine a safe use for substances in articles. The information should be included in registrations and also communicated down the supply chains. In addition, the list can be used to substitute hazardous substances with safer alternatives. The information will be used by ECHA and the Member States to prioritize groups of substances for in-depth assessment under REACH.
The project contributes to meeting the 2020 goals of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and to the EU’s Strategy for Plastics in the Circular Economy.