REACH and Innovation

In order for Defra to help companies cope with the regulations such as REACH, it would be helpful if for SMEs, the Department could work with the sectors affected to create some sort of financial aid to combat the associated costs, such as through creating a loan system for under 10T substances (like student loans – pay as you sell), or there could be ceilings on the REACH Letter of Access cost for 1-10T band. 

Why the contribution is important

The British Coatings Federation is the sole UK Trade Association representing the interests of the decorative, industrial and powder coatings, printing inks and wallcovering industries. The BCF's prime functions are to promote and to protect the interests of its members, to encourage the prosperity of the industry, to improve the business climate in which the industry operate, and to provide an interface between the industry and the Government, other industry and non-industry organisations, the media and the general public.

There are various legislative barriers for innovative companies in the coatings industry.  The amount of red tape around policies such as the EU’s REACH, detracts from companies, specifically SMEs, being able to focus on making more innovative and sustainable manufacturing methods. This also impacts on various downstream sectors. Given the cost and resource burden of REACH, many of the BCF’s SME members could potentially no longer invest in and develop new more sustainable coatings. In addition, the cost and bureaucracy of REACH registration is likely to result in a reduction of the substances available for formulations on economic rather than safety grounds, stifling innovation. The BCF has already started seeing SMEs holding back from investing in new and innovative products and believes that the 1 tonne amount in REACH is too low.

Members of the BCF invest massive amounts of R&D spend on defensive innovation to comply with regulations, rather than creating new applications or functionality for coatings. An estimated €2 billion has already been spent by the Chemicals Industry in order to comply with REACH. Substituting substances on the authorisation list is not innovation. Replacing substances of concern with safer alternatives is important but innovation is a broader concept, encompassing a wide range of different environmental and economic aspects, such as resource and energy efficiency.

by edaniels on January 11, 2016 at 05:34PM

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  • Posted by Singingstar1 February 15, 2016 at 11:44

    The EU seeks to ensure that the environment is protected from negative impacts from industry and farming. Industries should take full advantage of enterprise zones and work proactively to ensure that negative impacts are reduced. For example, there has been considerable improvements in waste management that have been EU led.
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