Clean Material Recycling project

Within the CleaR project, RIVM and Ramboll Environment & Health GmbH (formerly BiPRO) were collaborating on an evidence-based framework to assess how to manage the presence of substances of concern in waste and recycled materials and their potential adverse effects on human health and the environment. RIVM coordinated the project.

CleaR has built on previous experience and expertise gathered on similar topics, such as how to distinguish material streams, which substances of very high concern (SVHCs) occur in which material streams, whether removal of SVHCs is possible or whether it is possible to set certain limits. 

To achieve a circular economy it is essential to recycle substances, materials and products created by that economy. Recycling, however, becomes more difficult when materials and products contain substances that are so hazardous that their use is restricted. Potential conflicts may arise during the waste stage, under the Waste Framework Directive, and under the REACH Regulation when recycled material is brought on the market again.

RIVM and Ramboll Environment & Health GmbH have a strong combined knowledge of waste regulation, risk management of hazardous substances, environmental and human health risk assessment, circular economy and sustainability, life cycle analysis, and socio-economic impacts. In addition, the Dutch Competent Authority (CA) for REACH is based at RIVM as well. This has provided the project team with insights on current discussions about the interface between waste and REACH and will add to the practical implementation of the proposed framework. 


CleaR has delivered a framework for risk assessment of substances of concern in the recycling process.


The project (2018-2019) was funded by DG Environment - Directorate B, Circular Economy & Green Growth, ENV.B.2 – Sustainable Chemicals.