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Nonylphenol and its Ethoxylates in Products
Progress Report: P2 Planning and Nonylphenol and its Ethoxylates in Products
Pollution Prevention (P2) Planning is a process by which organizations can improve their environmental protection by strategically planning to reduce or eliminate pollution before it is created.
Last updated: October 2007
Progress Report: P2 Planning and Nonylphenol and its Ethoxylates in Products (PDF; 120 KB)
In 2006, facilities reported annual reductions of 63% of nonylphenol (NP) and its ethoxylates (NPEs) used in the manufacturing of products and 81% in imports since preparing and implementing their P2 plans.
Most facilities are a year ahead of schedule for meeting the first phase of reduction targets.
P2 Planning Notice Requirements
In December 2004, Environment Canada published a Pollution Prevention planning Notice in the Canada Gazette. Persons subject to this Notice include any person of class of persons who (a) own or operate a facility that manufactures or imports soap and cleaning products, or processing aids used in the wet textile industry or pulp and paper processing aids; and (b) purchase or otherwise acquire 2000 kilograms or more of NP and NPEs. Affected persons must prepare and implement a P2 plan that takes into consideration the reduction of NP and NPEs in two phases. Phase 1 sets a reduction target of 50 percent from base year levels (typically 1998), of the total mass of NP and NPEs used in the manufacturing of products or imported annually. Phase 2 sets a target of 95 percent reduction from base year levels of the total mass of NP and NPEs used in the manufacturing of products or imported annually. Unless a person becomes subject to the Notice after the date of publication, timelines for each phase are the 2007 and 2010 calendar years respectively.
Individual facilities are also required to periodically submit key information to Environment Canada until their P2 plan is fully implemented. Much of the following information is derived from these submissions, which are made available to the public at the address below. To date Environment Canada has received 72 submissions declaring that their facility has prepared and begun implementation of their P2 plan (Declarations of Preparation). For the 2006 calendar year, 58 Interim Progress Reports (IPR #1) have been received along with five submissions declaring that their facility has fully implemented their P2 plan (Declaration of Implementation).
As chart 1 illustrates, manufacturing and imports of NP and NPEs rose slightly from the base year (1998) to the preparation year (2003) with manufacturing increasing from 2.09 million kg to 2.16 million kg and imports increasing from 0.85 million kg to 1.19 million kg. However, after facilities prepared and began implementing their P2 plans, both manufacturing and imports of NP and NPEs dropped significantly. By 2006, annual use in manufacturing was down to 0.80 million kg and imports down to only 0.23 million kg.
Chart 1: Reported annual manufacturing and import of NP/NPEs for all facilities
Notes: Unless a person has become subject to the Notice after the date of publication, 1998 represents the base year and 2003 represents the preparation year. Percent reductions in the red boxes are from 2003. Data based on submissions from facilities subject to the Notice.
Progress Towards Meeting Objectives
The reduction targets established in the P2 planning Notice are per facility. Table 1 indicates the progress facilities have made toward meeting Phase 1 and 2 reduction targets, as outlined in the P2 planning Notice. Overall, more than half of the facilities are currently meeting the Phase 1 targets one year in advance of the 2007 reduction timeline. In addition, nearly one-third of facilities reporting NP and NPEs manufactured in products have already met the Phase 2 reduction target. Despite these significant reductions, some facilities have actually reported increases in NP and NPE use. Six facilities have reported an increase in NP and NPEs manufactured in products and 7 facilities have reported an increase in NP and NPEs imported in products.
|Key Reduction Results||Manufacturing||Import|
|Facilities meeting Phase 1 reduction target of 50% by 2007||25|
|Facilities meeting Phase 2 reduction target of 95% by 2010||14|
|Facilities reporting a 100% reduction in NP and NPE use since base year||10|
|Facilities reporting an increase in NP and NPE use since base year||6|
Notes: 50 facilities reported the use of NP and NPEs in manufacturing and 27 facilities reported importing NP and NPEs. Fourteen facilities reported for both.
P2 Used to Achieve Results
The Government believes that pollution prevention is the most effective means of protecting our environment, eliminating costly waste, and promoting sustainable development. P2 focuses on avoiding the creation of pollutants rather than trying to manage them after they have been created. As a factor to consider in preparing a P2 plan, priority is to be given to P2 activities. In 2006, 96% of the actions taken toward achieving the objectives were P2 in nature (chart 2). Nearly three quarters of facilities chose product design or reformulation (43%) or material feedstock substitution (31%) as a method to achieve their objectives. Only 4% of actions taken by facilities were not P2 methods.
Chart 2: P2 methods taken by facilities to meet the P2 planning Notice objectives in 2006
To date, progress toward achieving the Notice’s objectives are very encouraging. The majority of facilities have already met the Phase 1 reduction target and are on track to meeting the Phase 2 target. In addition, six facilities have already fully implemented their P2 plan, all achieving 100% reductions. These results should encourage those still striving to meet the reduction targets, especially those who have indicated increases since preparing their P2 plan. In accordance with the risk management strategy for NP and NPEs, Environment Canada will continue to monitor and evaluate the progress of facilities in order to determine whether or not further government action is required.
Nonylphenol (NP) and its ethoxylates (NPEs): what are they and why prevent their pollution?
NP and NPEs are part of a broader group of compounds known as alkylphenol and its ethoxylates (APEs). These high volume chemicals have been used for more than 40 years in a variety of soap and cleaning products such as detergents. Based on 1998 and 1999 averages, use of soap and cleaning products caused by far the biggest releases of NP and NPEs (56%) into the environment, followed by textile processing aids (18%).
NP and NPEs were found to be harmful to a wide variety of fish, bacteria, freshwater mussels and algae. Assessment of these substances concluded that they are entering the environment in a quantity or concentration or under conditions that have or may have an immediate or long-term harmful effect on the environment or its biological diversity.
As a result, in 2002, NP and NPEs were added to the List of Toxic Substances in Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.
A P2 planning Notice was chosen to manage NP and NPEs because: it provides flexibility for site-specific solutions, it minimizes potential incompatibilities with existing or future provincial or municipal regulations, and it allows for early action (compared to a regulation).
- Pollution Prevention Planning Online Reporting Tool
- PSL Assessment Report; RM Strategy for nonylphenol and its ethoxylates
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