Last Monday, the Minister for Economic Affairs, Labor and Tourism of the State of Baden-Württemberg, Dr. Hoffmeister-Kraut, visited the Bohlender company as part of an exchange with the regional CDU parliamentary group. In addition to other regional representatives, Nina Warken MdB (Member of the Bundestag for the constituency), Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Reinhart MdL (Vice President of the State Parliament in Baden-Württemberg), Christoph Schauder (District Administrator of the Main-Tauber district), as well as Marco Hess (Parliamentary Group Chairman of the CDU Lauda-Königshofen) took part in the joint company tour with subsequent discussion.
The predominant topic was the proposal of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) for a ban on the production, use and marketing of at least 10,000 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, so-called PFAS.
Volker Bohlender, managing partner of Bohlender GmbH, made it clear in his comments that "this ECHA proposal must be viewed in a much more differentiated way". A differentiation between the low-molecular PFAS (mostly liquid or gaseous, e.g. in fire extinguishing foams, release agents) and the high-molecular and thus solid 38 fluoroplastics was not made. Thus, despite their classification by the OECD as harmless, the fluoroplastics are part of the PFAS restriction dossier of ECHA. Volker Bohlender made it clear here what far-reaching effects this ban procedure would have on the entire European economy:
"Should a ban procedure be implemented in this current undifferentiated framework, numerous products such as smartphones, e-cars, 5G communications from intensive care medicine, implants such as stents, tubes, seals, membranes and other applications would neither be manufacturable nor allowed to be used in Europe in the future."
Dr. Hoffmeister-Kraut explained her position in clear terms: "The fact that the EU Commission envisages a blanket ban on PFAS poses a major problem not only for our companies. The consequences would also be serious for our society and would even endanger climate and environmental protection goals. The EU must take a more differentiated approach and better weigh the benefits and risks."
"It goes without saying that very careful handling of substances is necessary in order to protect people and the environment as best as possible. But just as obviously, a more differentiated approach is needed, a precise weighing of the benefits for people, the environment and society against the risks that can arise when these substances are used. My goal is to initiate this process and to shape it together with industry, society and politics," she said.
In conclusion, Volker Bohlender warned that the ECHA dossier now presented does not mean that a decision has been made on the future of fluoroplastics, but that the time to act has come. Because a future without fluoroplastics has no future!