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Product Stewards Society > Blog > Posts > The Future of Polymer Regulation and Other Deep Dives
The Future of Polymer Regulation and Other Deep Dives

​By Andrew Brown

If you deal with polymers, there are some regulatory trends that you should pay attention to.  “The big elephant in the room is REACH. Right now, polymers are exempt. I will bet you in the next five years that will not be true anymore,” says Jeff Hafer, senior scientist at Critical Path Services. “They will decide to regulate polymers. And then you better understand low-concern polymers, because that will be a nightmare.” He’ll explain the difference between ‘low-concern’ and ‘not-low-concern’ and other concepts that can help product stewards and their R&D teams avoid unnecessary impediments. Check out his session Global Polymer Regulation and Notification at Product Stewardship 2017.

When Chemical Obsolescence Threatens Supply Chains

If you’re a company sells products with long lifecycles, supply chain obsolescence poses a distinct and growing risk. Likewise, if you’re a supplier to large assembly manufacturers, you can probably expect more inquiries about the formulations of your products.

“I think product stewards understand obsolescence risk. They change production, or suppliers disappear. The part numbers change. But when it comes to obsolescence in chemicals, that’s newer,” says James Calder, VP, compliance & regulatory programs at Assent Compliance. “A variety of regulations have matured to the point where it’s having that kind of impact. In some cases, regulations impact the availability of materials or substances of basic component and parts which would then cause a supply chain interruption.” 

Using real-world examples, Calder will show how other companies have addressed these supply chain risks during Successful Supply Chain Engagement Practices in Chemical Reporting, a session at Product Stewardship 2017.

Regulations vs. Reality: Selling EEE to Emerging Markets

Electrical and electronic product manufacturers who sell to emerging markets have many challenges. In Nigeria, a product stewardship law outlines regulations regarding e-waste, for example, but there is no actual collection system in place. “So you have this gap between what you have to do based on the legal text and what you can actually do in practice,” says Johanna Terry, head of legal at 1cc GmbH. “That provides a big challenge to companies that are in theory obligated to do certain things but can’t. So how are you going to handle that? Take the risk? Build your own infrastructure?” She’ll bring you up to speed on recent regulatory developments and trends during her Product Stewardship 2017 presentation, WEEE Legislation in Emerging Countries – Status and Future Stewardship Developments, with some suggestions on monitoring the issues going forward. 

RELATED ITEMS

Global Polymer Regulation and Notification

Successful Supply Chain Engagement Practices in Chemical Reporting

WEEE Legislation in Emerging Countries - Status and Future Stewardship Developments​

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