15 SUB CLAUSES
1 AND 2 OF
In my capacity as co-chair of the UNEP Technical
Options Committee on foams you asked me at the last UK Foam Sector
Group meeting to provide comment on the correct interpretation
of sub-clauses 1 and 2 of Article 15 of the Revised European Regulation
on Ozone Depleting Substances which relates to the recovery for
destruction of Controlled Substances from, amongst other items,
"refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump equipment,
except domestic refrigerators and freezers" (clause 1) and
"domestic refrigerators and freezers" (clause 2). In
particular, you were interested to know whether insulating foam
within refrigeration and air conditioning equipment should be
included within the scope of clauses 1 and 2.
Having consulted with members of the TOC, I
can advise that they have confirmed my own view as follows:
Clause 1 specifically highlights applications
where access to significant quantities of controlled substances
is relatively easy (eg equipment containing solvents, fire protection
systems and fire extinguishers). This would also apply to refrigerators
contained in commercial refrigeration, air conditioning and heat
pump equipmentbut not, of course, to Controlled Substances
contained in foams within the cabinets.
Explicit reference is also made to service and
maintenance of equipment as being a point during which such recovery
could take place. No such service and maintenance takes place
The other alternative point offered for recovery
of Controlled Substances is "before the dismantling or disposal
of equipment". It should be noted that it is not possible
to remove foam from a cabinet "before the dismantling"
of it, although "before disposal" is, of course, a possibility.
In assessing the overall text, it appears that
the intent was never to include foams within the scope of clause
1. A similar argument exists in the case of domestic refrigerators
and freezers in clause 2.
Experience of recovering and destroying Controlled
Substances from domestic appliances across Europe has, at best,
been mixed and it would surely be premature to be making this
mandatoryeven at 31 December 2001. There has been even
less experience with commercial equipment which tends to be more
varied in design.
In conclusion, it is our view that recovery
and destruction of Controlled Substances should be encouraged
"if practicable" as set out in Clause 3 but should not
be mandated at this stage of technology development.
I hope that this clarifies the situation.
Co-chair of UNEP Technical Options Committee on Foams
6 September 2000