As the UK Chemicals Strategy continues to progress towards release of a draft consultation towards the end of 2021, the Chemical Industries Association continues to offer support in assisting with its development. We would also like to remind government departments of our publication from September 2020 UK Chemicals Strategy: Building a healthier environment and society together.

Within this, we lay out five building blocks for developing the Chemicals Strategy, these being:

13 asks strategy

In addition, the recommendations set out below would set the way whereby a UK-wide Chemicals Strategy could work towards building on the progress already made in managing chemicals in a safe and sustainable way.

We believe that the UK Chemicals Strategy should:

  1. Recognise the UK’s contribution to EU REACH and leverage this to build UK REACH and our existing system for managing chemical risks and ensuring a high level of protection of our environment and society.
  2. Enable society to enjoy the benefits from chemistry in a safe sustainable way, linking to established scientific indicators of human and environment health.
  3. Be UK wide to ensure consistency in protecting society and the environment, whilst securing the UK as a place for investment for safe sustainable chemicals.
  4. Work in synergy with other UK and devolved government strategies and policies.
  5. Promote safe use of chemicals through a risk and science-based policy environment, with science being at the ‘heart’ of the Strategy. 
  6. Recognise that businesses who make chemical products and solutions are integral to some 96% of all manufactured goods and key ingredients including for food and life-saving medicines, or materials for mobile phones and electric vehicle batteries.
  7. Be sensitive to any external challenges the UK chemical industry may be experiencing; in the short term this is impacts from COVID-19 and the UK’s departure from the EU.
  8. Recognise innovation has a central role in meeting the challenges of tomorrow to deliver solutions for a circular and low carbon economy and meet UN Sustainable Development Goals for the UK, as well as meeting the government’s own Net Zero target.
  9. Encompass environmental principles and the innovation principle as an integral part of the Strategy, ensuring their use holistically rather than individually.
  10. Encourage responsible use of the precautionary principle according to the government’s Regulatory Policy Committee guidance.
  11. Allow evaluation of new concepts and ideas for managing chemical risk to ensure they deliver added value to existing regulation.
  12. Make certain the impact assessment for any proposal taken forward (regulatory or alternative measures) covers workability, is not discriminatory, is scientifically justified and informed by risk-based evidence.
  13. Be flexible to allow for times of emergency (e.g. COVID-19 required supply of hand sanitiser, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and vaccine ingredients), and changes in future priority (e.g. advances in technology over recent decades have been made possible by chemicals).

sustainable development goals


13 Key Asks for the UK Chemicals Strategy 1

13 Key Asks for the UK Chemicals Strategy

The recommendations set out in this document would set the way whereby a UK-wide Chemicals Strategy could work towards building on the progress already made in managing chemicals in a safe and sustainable way.