Sustainable use of metal in GPP criteria for furniture

The GPP criteria used in LIFE FUTURE will allow an easy inclusion of green requirements in public tender documents. These are mainly based on the EU GPP Toolkit (recently revised), supplemented with criteria obtained from other sources (Umweltbundesamt, ICLEI, Pianoo, US EPA, etc.). These criteria aim to reach a good balance between environmental performance, cost considerations, market availability and ease of verification.
Metals are used in virtually all urban furniture products. Metals can be the single material for an urban furniture product, like some bins, bollards or tree-pits; they can be part of the urban furniture, as in benches, traffic signs or showers, or they can be present in non-metal based urban furniture, in the form of screws, fastenings or anchors.

Metals in urban furniture (bench): product, component and anchor

The main sustainable criteria for metals concern hazardous substances which have to be avoided (or limited) in their composition. Indeed, not only the presence of substances of very high concern in the metal product shall be noticed and controlled, but those used as outer layers of the metallic parts are evaluated.
Specifically, three criteria are highlighted for hazardous substances in metals:
- Substances used for surface coating shall not be carcinogenic, mutagenic or (acutely) toxic for human health or environment, neither contain hazardous metals (cadmium, lead, chromium VI, arsenic, mercury or selenium)
- It is explicitly indicated that cadmium (and nickel) shall not be used for electroplating metal products or parts.
- Any substance present in the REACH candidate list shall be indicated and it shall not be present in amounts higher than 0.1% in weight.
On the contrary, most metals present in urban furniture products are based on aluminium and steel. Both are potentially recyclable, so the use of recycled metals in urban furniture products or components shall be covered by metal criteria for GPP.

» Author: LIFE FUTURE newsletter

» Publication Date: 12/03/2018


» Source: LIFE FUTURE newsletter

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