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Annual Progress Report

2012 EUROPEAN REPORT DEMONSTRATES ONGOING INDUSTRY VALUE CHAIN COMMITMENT TO THE VECAP PROGRAMME

08/04/2013

TBBPA FLAME RETARDANT POTENTIAL EMISSIONS REMAIN AT THE LOWEST ACHIEVABLE LEVEL

Greening the supply chain is an increasing priority for industry in order to reduce their environmental footprint and to ensure resources are made use of as efficiently and sustainably as possible. Flame retardants form part of the supply chain for many sectors, notably electrical and electronic, automotive and construction, where they are added to or reacted into materials such as plastics and textiles in order to improve resistance to fire.

Since 2004, the flame retardant industry has implemented a Voluntary Emissions Control Action Programme (VECAP). The Programme's latest European Annual Progress Report, released today, shows a significant overall reduction in potential emissions of flame retardants to the environment over the past five years.

The latest survey results indicate that the main achievement in the programme, the reduction of potential emissions for Tetrabromobisphenol-A (TBBPA) to the lowest possible level, has been maintained. Due to this, potential emissions to water and air have remained below 1 g/t over the past two years. Furthermore, 100% of spent packaging is now handled using VECAP best practices.

There was an overall 50% drop in total potential emissions from Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in the past year, mainly due to a significant decline in potential emissions to air. These positive results are tribute to the large majority of users adopting and continuing to implement Best Available Techniques.

A minor increase in potential emissions of Decabromodiphenyl ether (Deca-BDE) was a result of second line users (users who buy from distributors or formulators) joining the programme and not yet fully implementing best practices. The VECAP team will continue to focus on these users in order to ensure best practices become the norm, with the aim to reduce emissions even further.

In 2012, the European Flame Retardant Association (EFRA) welcomed a new member, Everkem, who committed to participate in the VECAP initiative. From 2013, surveys will be carried out by the four companies1, which will considerably increase the programme coverage in Europe.

Over the years, the scheme run by EFRA has grown into a truly global product stewardship programme operating under the tenets of Responsible Care® to manage safely chemicals, above and beyond regulatory requirements. This work was recognised in 2012 by CEFIC who awarded EFRA with a commendation for its innovative environmental management practices under VECAP.

View report here

quotes
  • "The EOC group will certainly benefit from VECAP, which will ensure that everyone who is working with flame retardant inishing will receive the most updated information on Deca-BDE and the flame retardant compound. Moreover it will strenghten the EOC group's environmental philosophy on emission management and process improvement."
    Wim Duyvejonck, Product Manager, EOC GROUP
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