Sustainable Self-Care

The year 2023 witnessed significant progress and challenges for the self-care products industry, with a focus on environmental sustainability and regulatory compliance. AESGP remained at the forefront of industry advocacy, representing member interests, and promoting sustainable practices. As we look ahead, AESGP reaffirms its commitment to advancing sustainability, driving innovation, and fostering collaboration to create a more resilient and environmentally responsible self-care products industry.

AESGP was represented at the European Commission’s Zero Pollution Stakeholder Forum, carrying out the Zero Pollution Action Plan and taking part in the Zero Pollution Talks initiative. Bengt Mattson (LIF) also represented AESGP and EFPIA at the One Health EJP Conference “Collaborating to face future One Health challenges in Europe”.

Sustainable Self-Care

Establishment of the Environmental and Sustainability Committee

In November, AESGP took a proactive step by establishing the Environmental and Sustainability Committee, which reflects our dedication to monitoring emerging environmental and sustainability challenges impacting the self-care sector. The inaugural kick-off meeting laid the groundwork for enhanced collaboration and strategic planning to address these challenges effectively.

Sustainable Self-Care

Revision of Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (UWWTD)

AESGP closely monitored the revision of the UWWTD as part of the Zero Pollution Package. Together with other pharmaceutical sectoral associations, AESGP has issued several documents supporting a workable model of Extended Producer Responsibility applied to the removal of pharmaceuticals through urban wastewater upgrades that would not jeopardize accessibility to medicines:

AESGP has also published a Position Paper on the UWWTD with the main concerns that stemmed from the Commission proposal. 

Our engagement with the file included advocacy efforts with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and coordination with national associations to ensure a consistent narrative across the Member States represented in the Council. AESGP actively contributed to the discussion surrounding the trialogue and provided input to shape the final directive, particularly regarding Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes and the treatment of pharmaceuticals and self-care products.

Sustainable Self-Care

Revision of Water Framework, Groundwater, and Environmental Quality Standards Directives

The proposed revisions to the Water Framework, Groundwater, and Environmental Quality Standards Directives were a focal point for AESGP. We collaborated with other industry associations to advocate for amendments that take into account the unique considerations of self-care products. Our engagement with MEPs and key stakeholders aimed to ensure that any changes to the directives consider the impact on the availability and accessibility of essential products for patients.

AESGP continues to regularly participate in the European Commission Working Group Chemicals, which holds a key role in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive, Groundwater Directive and Environmental Quality Standards Directive. The association also commented on the proposal for a directive amending Directive 2000/60/EC establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy, Directive 2006/118/EC on the protection of groundwater against pollution and deterioration, and Directive 2008/105/EC on environmental quality standards in the field of water policy, and continues to carefully follow the legislative debate. The European Parliament adopted its position in  2023, but by the end of the year, the Council had not.

Sustainable Self-Care

Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR)

European Green Deal and circular economy action plan, aims to update the EU legislative framework for packaging and packaging waste. AESGP actively engaged in the Packaging Chain Forum organised by EUROPEN, who led the monitoring and advocacy efforts on behalf of all industry. AESGP followed the legislative progress to ensure alignment within the industry to reach these sustainability objectives and contributed with the following:

Sustainable Self-Care

Green Claims Directive

AESGP collaborated with other partner associations on the improvement of the Green Claims Directive, aimed at preventing misleading environmental claims and empowering consumers to make informed choices. Through inter-association collaboration, and AIM strategic outreach and engagement with policymakers, AESGP contributed to shaping a regulatory framework conducive to transparent and credible environmental claims.

Sustainable Self-Care

Microplastics Regulation

AESGP facilitated member understanding and compliance with Commission Regulation (EU) 2023/2055 restricting the use of microplastics. By organizing a webinar with legal experts and providing guidance on practical implementation, AESGP supported members in navigating regulatory requirements and mitigating potential impacts on product categories.

Sustainable Self-Care

One Substance, One Assessment (OSOA) Package

AESGP actively monitored the OSOA chemicals assessment reform package, which aims to streamline chemical assessments and enhance safety standards. Through ongoing feedback submission and collaboration with relevant committees, AESGP insured industry representation and advocated for balanced regulatory measures aligned with sustainability objectives.

Sustainable Self-Care

Classification, Labelling, and Packaging (CLP) Regulation

AESGP closely monitored the revised CLP Regulation, recognizing its potential implications for hazardous chemicals used in self-care products. By providing updates and guidance to regulatory teams, AESGP supported members in navigating compliance requirements and adapting to evolving regulatory standards.

Sustainable Self-Care

Global Activities

AESGP reinforced its commitment to sustainability through the AESGP Pledge update in the frame of the Charter for Environmentally Sustainable Self-Care, focusing on three pillars:

1. Pharmaceuticals in the Environment (PiE): AESGP actively participated in the Inter-Association Initiative (IAI) on Pharmaceuticals in the Environment (PiE), addressing the environmental impact of pharmaceuticals. By advocating for responsible wastewater treatment practices, AESGP demonstrated industry leadership in mitigating pharmaceutical pollution and promoting environmental stewardship.

2. Plastic and Packaging: AESGP promoted sustainable packaging practices to reduce waste and minimize environmental impact. By advocating for the use of safe recycled packaging material, AESGP contributed to circular economy objectives and supported sustainable packaging initiatives across the self-care products industry.

3. CO2 Footprint: AESGP supported member efforts in sustainable manufacturing and green energy uptake, aiming for CO2 neutrality. Through knowledge-sharing and collaboration, AESGP facilitated the adoption of environmentally friendly manufacturing processes, contributing to reduced carbon emissions and sustainable business practices.