This document provides a structure for inclusion of environmental aspects in standards for plastics products. It proposes an approach which is directed at minimizing any adverse environmental impact without detracting from the primary purpose of ensuring adequate fitness for use of the products under consideration.
The guidance provided by this document is intended primarily for use by standards writers. Over and above its primary purpose, however, this document provides guidance of value to those involved in design work and other activities where environmental aspects of plastics are being considered.
NOTE This document is intended to promote the following practices:
a) the use of techniques for identifying and assessing the environmental impact of technical provisions in standards, and for minimizing their adverse effects;
b) the adoption of good practices such as:
1) procedures for pollution avoidance, e.g. through end-of-life options and its proper management;
2) material and energy conservation in the light of the intended use (and foreseeable misuse) of the product;
3) safe use of hazardous substances;
4) avoidance of technically unjustifiable restrictive practices;
5) promotion of performance criteria rather than exclusion clauses such as are based, for example, only on chemical composition criteria;
6) use of renewable resources and minimization of the use of non-renewable resources, if the life cycle assessment shows favourable;
c) the adoption of a balanced approach in standards development to issues such as environmental impact, product function and performance, health and safety, and other regulatory requirements;
d) the regular review and revision of existing standards in the light of technical innovations, permitting improvement in the environmental impact of products and processes;
e) the application of life cycle analytical approaches wherever applicable and technically justifiable.