Author headshot ansell
Ansell Ltd. December 06, 2023

Ansell and the ESF Lead Europe’s PPE to a Digital Future

6 December, Brussels, Belgium - As per recently published PPE Regulation guidelines, the European Commission (EC) has removed the requirement that PPE products must be “accompanied” by printed instructions for use (IFUs), paving the way for manufacturers like Ansell to switch to fully digital IFUs.

Before this announcement, Ansell had already removed printed IFUs from PPE in the Americas, where regulations don’t specify printed IFUs, and they’d also started adding QR codes onto primary product packaging worldwide to give all Ansell customers easy access to digital product information.

However, paper-free IFUs still weren’t specified in Europe, so the European Safety Federation (ESF), under the Presidency of Guido Van Duren, Ansell’s Director of Regulatory Affairs, began campaigning for the rules to be changed. Firstly, Rikard Froberg, Ansell’s President Industrial Global Business Unit, brought the matter to the EU’s attention in December 2021, when he wrote asking them to amend the applicable PPE guidelines and encourage Member States towards paperless IFUs. Then in April this year, Ansell started a petition urging the EC to remove the requirement for paper. They also conducted a survey to gather data on how IFUs are used by their customer base, while the ESF prepared various position papers to advocate for their removal.

Thanks to these collective efforts and the European Commission's strategic commitment to sustainable development in Europe and worldwide, the requirement for printed IFUs for PPE products has been lifted. This long-awaited change, once approved by all Member States, will be great news for the environment. Digital IFUs will save paper and reduce waste for everyone, given that at least 45,000 tonnes of paper are used to make paper IFUs for PPE in Europe every year*.

Going forwards, Ansell is actively monitoring Member States’ adoption of these updated PPE guidelines and Van Duren will continue to lead the ESF in their goal of paperless IFUs, which Ansell hopes will be fully endorsed by the EU 27 Member States at their next meeting in April 2024.

Reference: Minutes Meeting of the Commission Expert Group on Personal Protective Equipment (1), 4 May 2023, Brussels + ESF’s position paper


Join the Conversation