Brussels -- Product stewardship is crucial in the polyurethanes sector. ISOPA, the European Diisocyanate and Polyol Producers Association, has just launched the second generation of its "Walk the Talk" (WtT) Product Stewardship Programme designed to foster use of the safest possible handling methods in the sector.
"Safety continues to be on top of ISOPA's priorities, and this new initiative will complement its predecessor," by also focusing on the implementation of REACH (the European Union's regulation on registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals) and CLP (classification, labelling and packaging), said ISOPA's 16 May announcement.
WtT aims at improving safety, health and environmental standards across the European polyurethanes industry.
Since 2006, ISOPA member companies have been visiting hundreds of production plants throughout Europe to address the importance of product stewardship and the safe use of diisocyanates and polyols.
ISOPA pointed out that this proactive initiative "was very well received by customers and distributors in the PU industry."
The WtT package is now available in 24 languages, and has global reach. For example, ISOPA helped the Indian Polyurethane Association tell its members about safe handling at the PUTECH 2011 event held in Greater Noida, Delhi, in March.
But as the new REACH and CLP rules came into force, ISOPA said, it foresaw the need and the opportunity to strengthen this outreach to customers and distributors in the PU industry by developing a WtT 2nd Generation safety package.
ISOPA notes that both REACH and CLP add "a great deal of complexity to the requirements that industry has to comply with, especially small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that are overwhelmed."
To address this challenging regulatory landscape, WtT 2nd Generation is offering a specific package for Europe, which provides assistance and a base training on the safe use of diisocyanates and polyols whilst at the same time focusing on REACH compliance.
The packages of both WtT and WtT 2nd Generation, as well as a REACH communication toolkit are available on the ISOPA website (www.isopa.org).
ISOPA stressed that "Guaranteeing high safety standards is ISOPA's first priority. Our motto is: Walk - Talk - Act - Be Safe."