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Pharmaceuticals, cosmetics

Sector's classified installations

Classification sections: nearly all sections 1000 (with the exception of sections 1300 and 1700) - 2680 - 2681 - 2685
Standard orders: according to section number

Classified Installations Legislation references

Directive 94/62/CE of 20 December 1994 of the European Parliament and Council relative to packaging and packaging waste.

Context, issues and problems

Considered part of the consumer goods industry, the pharmaceutical industry includes 3 activity sectors: the manufacturing of basic pharmaceuticals (244A), drugs manufacturing (244C) and the manufacturing of other pharmaceutical products (244D). These last 2 sectors are destined for human and veterinary medicine. Pharmacies are classified under the retail sector. Drugs manufacturing constitutes the main activity of the pharmaceutical industry.

The pharmaceutical industry is comprised of two activities: fine chemistry (for the manufacturing of active ingredients) and pharmaceutical production (galenics and packaging). In addition to accidental risks and air emissions, the main environmental issue for this sector lies in the high toxicity of the waste generated by the manufacturing processes:

  • Fine chemistry must deal with large volumes of highly polluting waste (saltwater, solvents, still bottoms).
  • Pharmaceutical production is faced with the need to dispose of waste such as manufacturing waste and a large variety of packaged waste (cytotoxics, laboratory samples for example) and contaminated packaging.

Perfumes, beauty products, sun creams, hair products (hairsprays, dyes etc.), make-up, hygiene products (toothpastes, bath and shower products etc.) or toiletries (shampoos, deodorants etc.) are grouped under the generic term “cosmetics”. The perfume-cosmetics industry is subject to the European legislation on packaging and packaging recycling. This legislation imposes that the member States institute packaging return, collection and recovery systems. This industry is also affected by the new European legislation on chemicals (REACH).

Ongoing actions in the sector

REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of CHemicals) is a European regulation adopted in 2006. REACH is primarily aimed at the chemical industry. Under the REACH system, the companies that manufacture or import over one ton of a chemical substance per year have to have the risks generated by this substance evaluated and then register the substance with the European agency.