The meeting was co-chaired by Marieke Schouten from the European Committee of the Regions, and Veronica Manfredi from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment. On behalf of EuChemS, Science Communication and Policy Officer Marton Kottmayer was present.
The focus of the morning session was the 4th flagship of the Zero Pollution Action Plan, defined as “Facilitating Zero Pollution choices and encouraging zero pollution pledges”. A primary aspect of this flagship is circularity, therefore the circular economy action plan was highlighted. The Commission’s representatives emphasized EU initiatives, such as the Ecolabel, and the public consultations related to it. With regards to circularity, EuChemS’ element scarcity workshops – including the upcoming workshop on the element of Phosphorus – overlap with this focus area, as the focus on the reuse of scarce elements is a key priority of these events. In addition, EuChemS’ held its own event on circularity in the European Parliament in 2020.
The Chemical strategy for sustainability was also in the scope of flagship 4, which, alongside the goals of protecting human health and environment, also plays a crucial role in circularity, and thus contributes to the Zero Pollution Action Plan. The revision of Reach and CLP regulations, and the surrounding issues were discussed in this context.
The afternoon session revolved around digital solutions. The discussion was catalysed by presentations by the Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, the European Network of Living Labs (ENOLL), and the European Environmental Agency, the latter of which presented one of its key deliverables, the European environment and health atlas.
EuChemS was invited to the Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform in April 2022, to approach the challenges of pollution reduction from the angle of chemical sciences. It is represented by Ioannis Katsogiannis and Nineta Hrastelj.