Added clarity on the future of PVC and its additives in EU

RPA work at the forefront of EU and UK policy, following updates from regulators across both regions. An area of particular interest recently has been ECHA’s investigation into PVC and its additives. RPA have a long experience of working with PVC and similar polymeric materials, making the release of this report high interest for us to best support our clients and keep at the cutting edge of EU policy developments.  

On 22 November 2023, ECHA published the results of an impact assessment investigating PVC and its additives. The findings of this report are intended to help inform whether PVC and its additives should be restricted under EU REACH or have alternative regulatory actions imposed. The report suggests that plasticisers and organotin substances with confirmed reprotoxic or endocrine disrupting properties should have regulatory action taken to minimise their risks. Additionally, action should also be taken to reduce microparticle and specific additive releases from PVC.  

In the report ECHA make the case that the most appropriate regulatory action to be taken is restriction due to the broad scope of uses of PVC. An introduced REACH restriction would focus on specific additives used in PVC and not on the use of PVC material in general. This is due to the fact that the risks associated with PVC resin manufacture are currently believed to be well controlled whilst risks posed from additives are higher. 

The assessment also found that alternatives are available for both PVC material and PVC additives. Some of these may be suitable alternatives, although, could result in losses of product quality. In the case of PVC itself, replacement with alternatives may cause large cost increases and issues with the product’s economic feasibility whilst in the case of additives, the costs of alternatives could be more economically feasible. An additional finding of the report also highlights that generally the EU has been moving towards the use of less hazardous phthalates and so risks could be higher in imported PVC from global markets. 

The focus of the regulatory action to be taken on plasticisers (ortho-phthalates) and stabilisers (organotin compounds) is recommended to focus on those with reprotoxic or endocrine disrupting properties. Regulatory measures on reducing microparticle emissions are suggested although more data is needed to decide an appropriate measure to address this. It is noted however that a REACH restriction may still assist with reducing microparticle emissions. 

If you are interested in learning more how RPA can support your compliance with PVC and its additives, do not hesitate to contact us at  

To read the full report follow the link below: