The European BREF STS (the European Commission’s Reference Document on Best Available Techniques on Surface Treatment Using Organic Solvents), adopted in August 2007, covers “adhesive application in the manufacture of abrasives and adhesive tapes,” the latter specifically in Chapter 5, “Manufacturing of Adhesive Tape”. One of the main outputs of the Sevilla Process, the entire BREF has been under revision since late 2014, and because of harmonisation of environmental standards, has an impact on national laws affecting production plants with a use capacity of organic solvents of more than 150 kg/hour or more than 200 tonnes (200,000 kg)/year.
The updated BREF has been finalised but delayed in the process of being translated into national legislation, as priorities have been placed elsewhere during the COVID-19 crisis. Afera Regulatory Affairs Manager Mr. Englebienne and Afera Sustainability Working Group Leader Martijn Verhagen (Lohmann GmbH & Co. KG) participated in a BREF workshop in June 2020 to discuss the future of the updates. Organised by the European Commission, the meeting saw broad stakeholder attendance, with representatives from European industry associations, governments and NGOs. Interesting topics of discussion centred on the circular economy and sustainability: The E.C. proposed to develop a BREF for these topics, but the consensus was that it was better to introduce these within each BREF individually. Afera is currently preparing feedback from the tape industry to be shared with the E.C