Today, 15th March, is World Consumers Rights Day, which aims to raise global awareness about consumer rights and needs. Did you know that you have the right to know about the most hazardous chemicals – substances of very high concern (SVHC) in everyday products (established by the REACH regulation Article 33)?

The plastic we use in our everyday lives also contains hazardous substances. Most plastics are mixtures of polymers that are usually obtained from fossil fuels and a cocktail of additives (hazardous substances). Additives contribute to plastic having the desired functions of our everyday items, such as high flexibility (softeners), UV protection (UV protectors) or fire resistance (flame retardants). However, additives and residues from plastic production processes can leach out and have very negative effects on human health and the environment.

Society is aware of the issues of plastic wastes on land, in oceans and dolphin bellies, and about macro- and microplastic particles. Until now, however, knowledge about hazardous substances in plastic materials and articles has not reached most people.

For this purpose we will create a Social Media Campaign called The NonHazCity Plastic Diet that takes place from 3 May 2021 until 13 June 2021.

The general slogan for the campaign is: Plastics and the hidden threat to your health. Each weel the campaign will focus on different topics:

  • Textile – The risk on our skin!
  • Sports equipment & bathing tools – Be healthy not poisoned
  • Home accessories and decorations – Surrounded by plastics
  • Toys, children’s furniture and accessories – Invisible danger for our smallest
  • Food contact materials – Detox your kitchen!
  • Bioplastic – Solution or Greenwashing?

Each focus topic will cover the aspects of materials, alternatives, usage, health and recycling. We will also introduce a new European mobile app Scan4Chem, which allows consumers to easily request product information about the presence of substances of very high concern (SVHCs) from suppliers.

Happy World Consumers Rights Day and stay tuned for more on plastics and hazardous substances!