Chemical substances are ubiquitous in everyday products. Some of them may damage human health, as they have ED or CMR properties. Some are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic to the environment. The new Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability and the Zero Pollution Action Plan demand measures for a toxic-free environment and protection of consumers.
The most effective option to reduce substance emissions while better legislation is being negotiated between policy makers and industry is to motivate the end-user (consumer) to act at source: changing consumption behaviour of purchasing goods is key. It empowers the end-user and enables concrete improvements of health impacts at the own surrounding (household, office).
LIFE ChemBee will apply an effective tool for behaviour change: the Household Check developed in the predecessor project NonHazCity. It encourages participants to make inventories of goods within their household, pile them up, make decisions on what to change, and then monitor the change. The tool has been tested and is ready to be spread widely all over Europe. The project will also promote the app Scan4Chem developed in LIFE AskREACH – supporting purchase decisions and demonstrating to suppliers the consumers’ concern about tox-free goods.
With the help of volunteers, Chemicals Ambassadors, the project will reach out to many more households than the partners themselves can achieve. A ready-to-use education programme will engage 2300 Ambassadors and multiply the number of households to 43000 during a compact 2-year campaign. In parallel, we will apply the Eco-Supporter approach tested in Finland within NonHazCity, establishing ca.200 in-house advisors (volunteers) in France & Greece.
The project will substantially increase awareness of end-users about harmful substances in products used in our daily life as it will reach out to millions of people by our campaigns and via our networks. It will substantially change consumption patterns and in the long-term lead to concrete emission reduction of some problematic substances.