Titanium dioxide pigment (TiO 2) is a white powder with high opacity and brilliant whiteness. These properties have made it a valuable pigment and opacifier for a broad range of applications in paints, plastic goods, inks and paper. Titanium dioxide is also used in many white or coloured products, including food, cosmetics, UV skin protection products, ceramics and rubber products.
Titanium dioxide pigments are made from two chemical processes: the sulphate or the chloride process. The chloride process produces titanium dioxide products by reacting titanium ores with chlorine gas. The sulphate process produces titanium dioxide products by reacting titanium ores with sulphuric acid. 70% of the European production is from the sulphate process and 30% from the chloride process.
The waste arising from the titanium dioxide production cover solid waste, strong acid waste, weak acid waste, neutralised waste, treatment waste and dust.
Existing Community legislation on waste from the titanium dioxide industry aims to prevent and progressively reduce pollution caused by waste from the titanium dioxide industry with a view to the elimination of such pollution. It also seeks to harmonise laws on waste from the titanium dioxide industry in order to avoid distortion of competition within the internal market.
Three different Directives introduce rules on (i) disposal (Council Directive 78/176/EEC), (ii) monitoring and surveillance (Council Directive 82/883/EEC) and (iii) programs for the reduction of pollution (Council Directive 92/112/EEC).
Simplification of the Titanium Dioxide Directives
Since the Titanium Dioxide Directives are more than 15 years old, they could - in line with the Commission's Action plan "Simplifying and improving the regulatory environment" (*) -- be candidates for simplification.
The Commission consulted interested parties on a draft working document prepared for the simplification. The draft working document and specific questions for the stakeholder consultation can be found here.
List of responses to the stakeholder consultation:
Following the consultations held on the simplification of the Titanium Dioxide Directives the Commission proposed to include the simplified provisions of the three TiO2 Directives in to the revised IPPC Directive.
(*) Communication from the Commission of 5.6.2002, COM (2002)278 final, which is part of the Better Lawmaking Packaging, see /governance/suivi_lb_en.htm.