GC3 Member Update - May 2021


GC3 Releases New Specifications Document for Silicone Chemistry Alternatives in Cosmetics & Personal Care Products

As the GC3 continues to increase its focus on commercialization of safe, sustainable chemistry alternatives, we are publishing our most recent collaborative innovation criteria document entitled “Specifications for Green Chemistry Alternatives to Silicone Chemistry for Cosmetics & Personal Care Products.” Sparked by recent regulatory and market drivers to restrict the use of some silicone chemistries, this GC3 member-developed document is designed to spur innovation by articulating clear criteria for alternatives to meet market demand. This is a continuation of the GC3’s unique collaborative innovation work, engaging all elements of the value chain to develop safer and more sustainable chemistry alternatives through market action. Fourteen member companies representing chemical manufacturers, cosmetic and personal care product manufacturers, and the environmental services sector made valuable contributions.

This new specifications document will help suppliers better understand cosmetic and personal care product manufacturers’ priorities for silicone chemistry alternatives. A GC3 survey of these manufacturers during the project found such alternatives highly prioritized. Suppliers can also identify current applications and functions of silicone chemistries and inform testing strategies to assess safety and environmental impacts of alternatives.

The GC3 encourages the sharing of this document between suppliers and product manufacturers as we work to advance the development of safer, more sustainable alternatives to silicone chemistries. Learn more about the GC3’s silicone specification document with this one-page summary.

In the coming months, the GC3 plans to host an alternatives challenge to solicit solutions to meet the needs identified in the document. As a sponsored challenge, the scope will be narrowed by the sponsors to focus on applications of direct interest to their companies, resulting in a resource to accelerate commercialization of safer, more sustainable alternatives to silicone chemistries in the cosmetic and personal care sector.

Joel Tickner Selected to European Commissions
Sustainable Chemistry Roundtable

The European Commission’s Expert Group High-Level Roundtable on Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability recently announced the appointment of Joel Tickner to the prestigious group, representing the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

The expert group of 32 representatives from industry and trade associations, NGOs, and international organizations, will inform and consult the European Commission on the realization of the recently adopted Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS) and monitor its progress. The group, under the Directorate-General for the Environment, will primarily coordinate communications between the European Commission and stakeholders, identifying barriers to implementation of the CSS and serving as ambassadors for safer and more sustainable chemistry through Europe. Tickner said, "I am humbled and honored to be selected to be part of the Roundtable and contribute to the implementation of the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability. Our team at the University of Massachusetts Lowell has worked for more than two decades to champion safer, more sustainable-by-design chemicals and processes by supporting industry, policymakers, and advocates in the United States and beyond. This is an important opportunity to shape an EU chemicals strategy that has a big vision but recognizes the practical barriers to commercializing and adoption, providing both strong regulatory signals but also a strong support system and incentives to accelerate the transition to safer, more sustainable chemistry."

Registration Now Open for the GC3 European Innovators Forum

We’re especially excited to share the news about the EU Commission’s Expert Group High-Level Roundtable on Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability as we approach our first European Innovators Forum, focused on the implementation of the CSS and advancement of safer, more sustainable chemistries across the European marketplace and the entire value chain. It is thanks to the EU’s new Chemical Strategies for Sustainability that the time is right for this open and dynamic exchange of ideas across industries, sectors, and supply chains in the EU. With these invigorating developments, the GC3 is looking forward to raising its profile in Europe and to progress on alternative chemicals innovation.

The GC3 European Innovators Forum, hosted by Kingfisher plc, will be held virtually from May 18 – 20 and 25 – 27, 2021. Registration is now open for members and non-members to join us and European market leaders and regulators for a series of engaging panels over two weeks. Speakers will include European Commissions representatives and experts from global brands like Kingfisher, AkzoNobel, H&M, and Unilever.

Register today to be part of the conversation to boost safer and more sustainable chemistry for the benefit of consumers and the health of the planet.

BASF Secures Funding for 4 Plastic Projects
from Department of Energy

Multinational chemical company and GC3 member BASF recently secured $8.6M in funding from the Department of Energy (DOE) for four plastics-recycling research projects, focused on bio-based and biodegradable plastics. The winning proposals were submitted in partnership with universities, corporations across the US, and national labs and include:

  • Production of high-performance biodegradable polyurethane products made from algae precursors;
  • Degradable biocomposite thermoplastic polyurethanes;
  • Hybrid approach to repurpose plastics using novel engineered processes (HARNESS);
  • Recyclable and biodegradable manufacturing and processing of plastics & polymers based on renewable branched caprolactones.

BASF’s involvement in these projects points to its commitment to advancing both a circular economy and sustainable chemistry. Through these partnerships and projects, the company aims to process 250,000 metric tons of recycled and water-based raw materials annually by 2025, replacing fossil raw materials.

Read more about BASF’s winning projects and the GC3’s report on opportunities for sustainable chemistry in a circular economy for more background.