The Management of Bromine
Product Stewardship is becoming increasingly recognized as "the responsible and ethical management of the health, safety and environmental aspects of a product throughout its total life cycle." (European Chemical Industry Association, CEFIC) By defining and pursuing common goals throughout the supply chain, the chemical industry believes it can be beneficial at all. No company operates in isolation. All parties involved in the production, handling, use and disposal of chemicals have a shared responsibility to ensure their safe management and use. By adopting a programme of Product Stewardship, every company can play a part in protecting humans and the environment from potential harm.
The vast majority of emissions of bromine happen during the manufacturing process, in particular the manufacturing of plastics and textiles. Even though industrial waste plants control the disposal of chemical waste, significant quantities of chemical emission often escape into the environment.
VECAP is a voluntary Responsible Care programme that substantially goes beyond legally required emissions controls. VECAP was developed in 2004 in the United Kingdom textile coating industry. Today, VECAP has been extended to other flame retardants, instituted in the European Union, and introduced in North America and Japan.
For more information: www.vecap.info
Today, with decreasing availability of natural resources and increasing prices of raw materials, there is an increasing demand for recycling. For plastics, their high potential for energy recovery helps to increase energy efficiency and lower CO2 emissions as a result.
Several studies over the last years have demonstrated that the most commonly used brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in electric and electronic equipment are fully compatible with integrated waste management systems such as feedstock recycling and energy recovery. This shows that it is possible to handle products containing BFRs and in particular electrical and electronic appliances composed of plastics in an environmentally manner while complying with the objectives of the EU Waste Electrical and Electronic (WEEE) Directive.