3 April 2019

The missing piece: the hazardous chemicals in the circular economy

We’ve found today this great report published by Chemsec. It’s great to hear someone talking about this, that we always remark form our cradle to cradle perspective.

The circular economy is usually expressed as the 3R’s  (reuse, reduce, recycle) but this viased approach will lead to a perpetuation of the problem instead of solving it. Do we really know what is in the products? In the Cradle to Cradle Certified community we experience the adventure of fulfilling the bill of materials of a product which may take  several months of diving in the supply chain. It’s pretty common to find out that hazardous chemicals are hidden in products, chemicals that could bring undesired consequences when cycled in a circular economy context.

Chemicals management should have a higher priority on the corporate agenda. Chemical issues cannot be the responsibi­lity of a supporting department that has a weak mandate within an organisation.

The report explains the relevance of the chemical transparency to build up a recirculation model under clear and shared premises by bringing up the experiences of big names like Apple, H&M or IKEA are working  on it.


Apple disassembly innovative technology, H&M’s positive list of chemicals, IKEA’s supply chain management for chemicals tracking, or Coop Denmark remarks on going beyon legal requirements are relevant examples of the role of chemicals in the circular economy.

We invite you to read this report and join us in the research and development for valuable safe and perpetually cyclable materials.