27 May 2021

Toxic chemicals in non-plastic disposable tableware, consumer test reveals

A new test by consumer organisations in four countries found chemicals of concern in single-use tableware made of popular non-plastic alternatives, such as disposable plant fibre bowls, paper straws, or palm leaf plates. Several products were also found to mislead consumers with unsubstantiated green claims. BEUC and its member organisations urge the EU to ensure that single-use plastic alternatives are safe and do not mislead consumers.
13 November 2020

Consumer groups welcome new EU consumer policy strategy for the next five years

Today the European Commission adopted the “Consumer Agenda”, its consumer policy strategy for the next five years. It lays down the Commission’s consumer policy objectives and will serve as guidance to include consumer interests in all policy areas. Focus areas are the green and digital transition as well as the post-COVID economic recovery.
14 October 2020

Consumers place high hopes on EU gearing up fight against harmful chemicals

The EU has announced concrete steps to better protect consumers against harmful chemicals − to which they are exposed night and day from multiple sources. That is the gist of the long-awaited Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, published today by the EU Commission. The European Consumer Organisation BEUC, who has long been calling on the EU to tighten its grip on chemicals, judges the blueprint promising and urges the Commission to now follow through. The EU last updated its strategy for chemicals policy in 2001.

Our work areas

Dangerous substances contained in everyday products such as soaps, toothpaste and shampoo may cause allergies, cancer, disrupt the hormonal system or damage the environment. Among these chemicals are nanomaterials which are increasingly used in consumer products, although the risks they may pose to human health and the environment have not been sufficiently assessed.

Unsafe ‘CE mark’ products continue to be found on the European market. The high number of product safety warnings and product recalls show the need to revise general and sector-specific product safety legislation in order to adequately cover all risks which may be posed by products. Market surveillance and control activities are insufficient to ensure the highest level of safety possible and the level of enforcement is not yet the same across the EU. 

Our objectives

  • Improve the general safety of products sold on the EU market and establish a European accident and injury database
  • Minimise exposure for consumers and the environment to dangerous chemicals
  • Adequately and urgently address the potential risks posed by harmful chemicals including nanotechnologies and hormone disrupting chemicals

Contact Card

The European Consumer Organisation
Europäischer Verbraucherverband
Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs

Rue d'Arlon, 80 Bte 1 
B - 1040 Bruxelles

Tel: +32 2 743 15 93

Sylvia Maurer
Senior Safety and Health Policy Officerpicture
Senior Safety and Health Policy Officer
Pelle Moos
Senior Project Officerpicture
Senior Project Officer
Florence Punzano
Head of Communicationspicture
Head of Communications
Pauline Constant
Carmen Martin