The BV Glas member companies deal with environmental issues on a daily basis. On the one hand, they have to obtain approval for their production plants and equipment and, on the other, there are environmental issues associated with the production and use of their products. Glass is produced from various raw materials, resulting not only in waste, but also emissions in the air, water, and ground, which is why politicians are increasingly calling for sustainable production practices that conserve natural resources.
The glass industry has been satisfying these demands for decades already, and it is a pioneer in efficient technologies and innovative products. The glass industry’s activities play an important role in climate and environmental protection.
The REACH Directive (EC 1907/2006) is the European Community regulation on chemicals and their safe use. It went into effect on June 1st 2007. REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. The aim of REACH is to encourage the safe use of chemicals to protect human health and the environment. All substances, their properties and uses must be recorded in a central database run by the European Chemicals Agency in Helsinki. Under REACH, companies are required to register substances in a step-by-step process by 2018, and to pass on information about the substances along their supply chains.
The glass industry can be affected by the requirements of the REACH Directive as producer, importer and, more importantly, user of chemical substances. It is what is termed a downstream user. As downstream users, one mandatory requirement for glass manufacturers is to use only substances that are already registered by their manufacturer or importer. Although glass is defined as a substance under REACH, it is generally not subject to the registration requirement (Annex V, no. 11, REACH).
The Industrial Emissions Directive or IED (2010/75/EU) is the EU-wide basis for the approval, operation, monitoring, and decommissioning of installations.
The Directive aims to ensure a high level of protection of the environment as a whole. It is to be achieved by minimising air, water, and land emissions from industrial processes and by minimising, or at least reducing, waste generation. Operators of industrial facilities are required to apply the best available techniques (BAT) as set out in the Seville Process and in the sector-specific BAT reference documents (BREFs).
Major changes introduced by IED include the classification of production facilities as IED installations, the adoption of the BAT conclusions as binding, the introduction of a baseline report for soil and groundwater, as well as the official monitoring and disclosure obligations.