Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
If your waste recovery activities involve the manufacture, import or use any chemical substances, preparations or articles you must comply with the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) Regulation.
REACH aims to protect human health and the environment through the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemical substances.
If you make a product from waste by recovering a chemical substance in quantities of one tonne per year or more, the REACH Regulations may apply to you.
If your business deals with waste without producing any chemical substances from it, then the REACH regulations are unlikely to apply to you.
The UK REACH Competent Authority is hosted by the Health and safety Executive (HSE).
REACH may apply to chemical substances that you recover as they will no longer be classed as waste. If a substance ceases to be a waste and REACH applies you must register or pre-register the substance.
If you recover chemical substances from waste in quantities of one tonne or more per calendar year and the substance is not exempt, you must register it with the ECHA.
If your recycled substance is not a waste and you are unsure if it is covered by REACH, contact the UK REACH competent authority helpdesk.
If you are not sure whether your substance is a waste contact your environmental regulator.
Pre-registration has now closed. You can only make a late pre-registration if you are recovering one tonne or more of a phase-in substance in a calendar year for the first time. You must be able to provide evidence of this.
If this applies to you, you must pre-register:
If you pre-registered any phase-in substances before 1 December 2008 you will still have to complete a full registration with the ECHA. The deadline for your registration will depend on the quantities of chemicals you handle and in some cases whether they have certain hazardous properties. You will have submitted a proposed registration deadline as a part of your pre-registration.
The ECHA has produced a questions and answers document covering pre-registration.
Under REACH, Substance Information Exchange Fora (SIEFs) are created so businesses that have pre-registered the same chemical can share information. You will be able to use SIEFs to make joint registrations. You are automatically added to a SIEF when you pre-register.
For further information about REACH visit the UK REACH competent authority's website, or contact them by email:
New regulations set out requirements for sampling and reporting procedures for
This will improve the understanding of materials in the supply chain, and help identify levels and sources of contamination.
This will benefit MRF operators by helping to ensure that high quality recyclates enter their facilities, and will help to drive innovation and good practice throughout the supply chain.
If you operate a materials recovery facility (MRF) and:
then you must comply with the requirements of the Code of Practice on Sampling and Reporting at Materials Recovery Facilities.
In Northern Ireland:
It is proposed that the Quality Action Plan and Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) Code of Practice will be incorporated through a schedule to the planned Permitting Regulations. A consultation on revised permitting regulations was scheduled to take place in 2017, however this was postponed following the outcome of the EU referendum in June 2016. A revised date for this consultation has not been scheduled.
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