The industrial companies are working together to define a regulated scope of use for PFAS.
Three companies from Kempen - PFEIFFER Chemie-Armaturenbau GmbH, Richter Chemie-Technik GmbH and Rhenotherm Kunststoffbeschichtungs GmbH - have founded a joint task force. They want to take action against possible PFAS restrictions that could come into force from 2025.
The ban would dramatically reduce the turnover of all the companies mentioned. Numerous jobs are also at risk due to a possible PFAS ban. “We are not alone in this”, says Bernd Jenner, Managing Director of SAMSON PFEIFFER, and goes on to say that “a PFAS ban would have extremely negative effects on the economy and politics nationwide. We hope that awareness of this will increase”.
A meeting of business, politics, local authorities and trade associations took place at PFEIFFER under the leadership of Bernd Jenner. In addition to the PFEIFFER Managing Director, the participants included Martin Hantschel (Head of Isostatics at PFEIFFER), Christina Hensch (Head of R&D at Rhenotherm), René Wilden (Managing Director at Rhenotherm), Gregor Kleining (Director of Product Development at Richter Chemie-Technik) and, as external participants, Christoph Dellmans (Mayor of the City of Kempen), Stefan von Laguna (Economic Development Officer for the City of Kempen), Dominik Heyer (Energy Officer at the Mittlerer Niederrhein Chamber of Commerce) and Dr Stefan Berger (Member of the European Parliament/Executive Director of the City of Kempen). Stefan Berger (Member of the European Parliament/Committee on Economic & Monetary Affairs).
Task Force receives much encouragement
Bernd Jenner opened the meeting with a comparison: “It makes no sense to ban berries in principle if there are a few that are toxic. The toxic ones should be considered separately, but a blanket ban on all PFASs cannot be the solution.” The panel advocates defining a regulated scope of use for PFASs. Dominik Heyer, representing the Mittlerer Niederrhein Chamber of Commerce and Industry, explains that such company mergers make it clear what effects an undifferentiated PFAS ban would have. “These must be taken into account by politicians.” Mayor Christoph Dellmans says: “The economy is massively endangered by this ban and with it the prosperity in Europe.”
Rhenotherm Managing Director René Wilden and Richter Production Director Gregor Kleining agree that the ban would massively affect quite a few sectors of the economy and also medicine and that “the Green Economy cannot function in this way”.
They address the question to Dr Stefan Berger as to how such considerations could come about in the first place. Dr Berger replies that “ideology plays a big role here”. The politician, who as a member of the European Parliament is also responsible for the Lower Rhine region, is enthusiastic about the initiative and makes it clear that he is “preaching to the converted”.
The MEP gave the competence team the advice to include representatives of the “Ampel” government in such events in the future, as they are pushing for the ban. The 2024 European elections should be seen as an opportunity here, he said. “The behaviour of the federal government will be elementary”, said Dr Berger. This point has been taken along as a to-do.