By Barry Copping, Plastics & Rubber Weekly
Shawbury, UK -- Rapra has joined a consortium of eight partners for a two-year project to improve understanding of European Union Reach regulation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) by polymer companies in Europe.
The Euro 500 000 ($716 000) 'Polymer Reach' project, running through 2010 and 2011, will be supported by funding from the Leonardo Lifelong Learning Programme.
Polymer Reach will develop an e-learning platform and supporting materials specifically for the European polymer industry, to help companies, particularly SMEs, to understand Reach and enhance their knowledge of it. By facilitating REACH implementation, the project will help to realise planned environmental gains while lessening the economic burden on companies.
Polymer Reach's two priority areas are developing vocational skills within companies on the basis of their labour market needs, and supporting the development of ICT-based materials as an ongoing learning tool. No such tool currently exists, and the project will provide practical methods to help workers understand the complexities of Reach and act upon it appropriately.
As well as Rapra, the consortium includes the British Plastics Federation, partners from Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Lithuania and Estonia, and principal project co-ordinator i-Smithers.