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REACH for Polymers

The European Community Regulation REACH (EC 1907/2006) came into force on 1 June 2007. It deals with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances and has already had significant impact on the polymer industry.

The motive for REACH is to improve the protection of human health and the environment through the better and earlier identification of the intrinsic properties of chemical substances. This in due course should enhance the innovative capability and competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry. The logic and potential benefits of the REACH system are generally recognised and will come gradually as more and more substances are phased into REACH. However, due to the fact the measures are so pervasive, it is already perceived as an over complex and consequently difficult piece of legislation to comply with. This has resulted in a huge explosion of online and offline REACH support literature and services. These are mainly well intentioned, but some seek to exploit the lack of resources, knowledge and understanding that exists, particularly within SMEs.


The main objective of the REACH for Polymers project was to create a toolkit for the European polymer industry. Using the most effective examples of best practice and drawing on the experiences of real companies, the toolkit is a new, interactive, innovative software application capable of guiding users through the entire REACH process, from understanding their individual requirements through to tests to perform, and registration. This objective addresses the goal of increasing the European polymer industry’s knowledge base on the subject of REACH and contributes to the development of innovative instruments relating to the legislation. It provides an integrated approach, spanning the whole of a business from planning, R&D, purchasing and sales to supply chain management, manufacturing distribution and material selection.


The intention is that the REACH FOR POLYMERS toolkit become a leading, if not the definitive, resource for companies throughout the industry, wherever they are in the supply chain, providing them with an efficient, innovative and user-friendly method for complying with REACH.