New Developments in Environmental Law: Green Chemistry- A sustainable, safe and efficient energy supply is crucial for every country’s economy. There is a critical need to rethink energy supply and usage, since existing energy resources are limited both in volume and geographical distribution in the light of exploding global energy requirements.
Green chemistry consists of chemicals and chemical processes designed to reduce or eliminate negative environmental impacts. The use and production of these chemicals may involve reduced waste products, non-toxic components, and improved efficiency.
Green chemistry is a highly effective approach to pollution prevention because it applies innovative scientific solutions to real-world environmental situations.
This new environmental concept has prompted considerable debate on how the law can help achieve the goals of Green chemistry. The European Union, for instance, has passed landmark legislation that mandates environmentally safer materials. One law, the Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronics Equipment, is intended to encourage the use of new materials in electronic products that are easier to handle during recycling and recovery; it makes manufacturers who sell electronic products in the EU responsible for reducing electronic waste.
A second EU law, the Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive, bars the use of hazardous substances, including lead, mercury, and cadmium, in electrical and electronic equipment sold in the European Union. A third piece of legislation, the Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) framework, requires EU producers and importers to submit toxicity and use information for about 30,000 chemicals, and it introduces an authorization procedure for the use of up to 1,400 very hazardous chemicals.
All of these are pushing European companies to innovate, designing new products and manufacturing processes that use fewer problematic chemicals. This European Law will have an impact upon all Northern Ireland Businesses and it is inevitable that parliament will introduce this directly into UK law.