Circular economy is all the rave in current sustainability trends. Manufacturers are committing to circular economy efforts in their long- and short-term goals left and right. But what does it mean to be part of a circular economy and what will it take for us to truly make the circular economy an attainable global initiative? Here we will try to break that down and highlight some new regulations that are helping pave the path for a global circular economy.
What is a circular economy?
A circular economy is an economic framework centered around the goal of eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the circular economy has three core principles:
- Design out waste and pollution
- Keep product and materials in use
- Regenerate natural systems
These three principals aim to define a system that is restorative and regenerative by design. Circular systems like this embrace reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing, and recycling to yield a close-loop system to ultimately reduce waste, pollution, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It’s common place for consumers and companies to dispose of products and materials that seem broken, out of season, or old. The circular economy aims to keep products, equipment, and infrastructure in use for longer periods to maximize the productivity of resources.
The circular economy is a stark contrast to the linear economy that most of us are used to, which abides by the “take, make, dispose” production model.
How does SCIP fit into circular economy?
SCIP is the database for information on Substances of Concern In articles as such or in complex objects (Products), established under the Waste Framework Directive (WFD). The WFD was established and is managed by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). According to ECHA, “The WFD sets out measures addressing the adverse impacts of the generation and management of waste on the environment and human health, and for improving efficient use of resources which are crucial for the transition to a circular economy.”
For a more detailed explanation of SCIP and it’s requirements, read up on our SCIP FAQ.
As stated in the WFD, the SCIP database was specifically designed with the transition into the circular economy in mind. The revisions that resulted in what the WFD is today were born out of the EU’s action plan for the circular economy in 2015. After this development, ECHA created the SCIP database which requires companies that produce, import, or supply articles containing substances of very high concern (SVHCs) to report that data into the database. The end goal is to help waste operators in sorting and recycling materials that contain SVHCs and support best-use and disposal practices. The hope is that over time the SCIP database will help transition SVHCs out of supply chains and aid in the development of safer alternatives.
The SCIP database is one of the first directives to tackle the reporting of hazardous chemicals in supply chains while also holding such a high standard for data requirements. Regulations like this are absolutely instrumental in our transitions into a circular economy.
Why it matters to manufacturers?
SCIP is another step towards a safer, healthier society, specifically designed to help transition into the circular economy framework. It presents an opportunity for companies to innovate for the future of materials management by rethinking materials usage and optimizing product design for a sustainable global economy. With improved waste management and product design, manufactures can directly influence reducing the number of toxic substances entering our environment. These actions will directly result in positive returns from healthier interactions with products for individuals.
How can Toxnot help?
If you’re ready to start contributing to the circular economy and submit your products for SCIP, Toxnot has you covered. Our platform will automate your SCIP submissions with ultimate flexibility. Keeping in compliance with SCIP can be easily and affordably managed by your team by automating the process through our platform. With Toxnot, you’ll be able to save time with the ability to manage your complete product portfolio, screen against SCHVs lists, and bulk submit all your SCIP directly to ECHA directly through Toxnot.