Chemicals which damage the ozone layer continue to be phased out in the European Union, according to the latest data from the European Environment Agency (EEA).
The report 'Ozone depleting substances 2013' has been published by the EEA to coincide with the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. It covers the chemicals' production, destruction, import and export.
Over the last few decades, chemicals known to harm the ozone layer have been successfully substituted in most parts of the world since 1989 when the Montreal Protocol came into force, controlling more than 200 chemicals. Within the EU these substances are covered by the ODS Regulation , which is more stringent than the rules of the Protocol and covers additional substances.
Since the potential to harm the ozone layer varies among substances, the data collected on these chemicals are expressed not only in metric tonnes but also in 'ozone depleting potential' (ODP) tonnes which show quantities in terms of their environmental effects rather than physical weight.
Overall, the trade and use of substances with a high ODP is shrinking as they are gradually replaced with less harmful substances, the report shows. Between 2012 and 2013 the production, export and destruction of these substances continued their long-term declining trend, both in ODP terms and metric tonnes. Imports have also declined since 2006, although they have stabilised in recent years and increased slightly between 2012 and 2013.
Source : European Environment Agency (EEA)