Future Policy Award Toxic Free

Future Policy Award 2023: For a Toxic-Free World

Celebrating the best policies for a toxic-free world

In 2023, the Future Policy Award highlights the best policy solutions that protect people, especially children, and the environment from hazardous chemicals in products, and that work towards a toxic-free world.

The video below takes a closer look at the use of hazardous chemicals in products, with a focus on children and their environment.

Why we need to act

Humanity faces a triple planetary crisis: climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. Chemical substances are contributing to pollution: synthetic substances accumulate in the food chain, water and soil.

A growing challenge

Chemical substances are added to almost all products we use in our daily life. Many of these substances are toxic to human health. And the market is growing: In the period from 2017 to 2030 alone, the sales of chemicals are expected to double, reaching 6.6 trillion US dollars.

Especially dangerous for children

Due to their light body weight, and on-going physical and mental development, children can be affected already by small amounts of hazardous chemicals. Products explicitly designed for children, like toys or baby feeding bottles contain bisphenol A, plasticisers or brominated flame retardants.

The Winning Policies

Future Policy Award Logo 2023
And the winners are..

The winners of the 2023 Future Policy Award were announced at a high-level ceremony on the 28th of September at the ICCM5 in Bonn, Germany. At the ceremony, we cordially greeted distinguished international experts and high level guests from around the world. The award recipients received Future Policy Awards across four categories.

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FPA 2023 Icons TOYSToys

Vietnam: Circular No. 09/2019/TT-BKHCN, also known as the National Technical Regulation on Safety of Toys, 2019

This comprehensive regulation is establishing safety standards and limiting the concentration of various hazardous hazardous chemicals in toys.

Phthalates are not bound in plastic and are released from toys over time when children touch them or put them in their mouths. They can also pollute the air and dust in the indoor climate.

Food Packaging

Denmark: Order on food contact materials and on provisions for penalties for breaches of related EU legislation, 2020

Preventive ban on all everlasting chemicals, so-called PFAS, for paper and cardboard food packaging

Many packaging materials contain chemicals that pollute our environment and threaten our health. Thus, besides reducing unnecessary packaging, we need policies that protect both consumers and nature from toxic substances where packaging is unavoidable.

FPA 2023 Winner Cosmetics FPA
FPA 2023 Icons COSMETICSCosmetics

Rwanda’s Ministerial Order No20/38, published in Gazette no. 09 of 29/02/2016, on harmful chemicals in cosmetics, 2016

Comprehensive policy on ban and regulate the use of all of all cosmetics containing substances hazardous to humans, with particular attention to skin-whitening creams.

Skin-lightening creams typically contain toxic chemicals like mercury in quantities that significantly exceed health guidelines. Bleaches weaken and penetrate the skin, increasing the risk of cancer and other diseases. Children can be exposed through breast milk, and food chains can become contaminated when cosmetics are washed off into wate

FPA 2023 Icons DENTAL AMALGAM Toxic-free world Dental Amalgam

Nepal: Decision “Regarding Mercury based Equipments and Dental Amalgam”, 2019

First law in Asia to protect children and pregnant and breastfeeding women from contamination with mercury amalgam and with the aim of a complete phase-out.

Mercury is a highly toxic heavy metal that affects the human nervous, digestive and immune systems, especially in children. Amalgamated with other metals, it is used in dental fillings. Despite its longevity, growing scientific consensus points out the risks of mercury leaking from defective fillings.

FPA 2023 Toxic Free -Winner Dental Amalgam FPA

Download the Brochure

Toxic-Free World Brochure Thumbnail

This Brochure presents the Winners of the Future Policy Award 2023

This brochure presents the Winners of the Future Policy Award 2023 and other nominated policies that work towards a toxic-free world. Additionally, you will find several key recommendations for policy-makers, for effective protection from harmful chemicals in products. This brochure also presents information about the award process, the Future-Just Lawmaking Framework, our 2023 Jury members, and FPA winners of previous years.

More about the topic


According to the historic resolution of UN-General Assembly in July 2022, access to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment is a universal human right. In 2023 the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child will publish its General Comment no. 26 on Children’s Rights and the Environment with a Special Focus on Climate Change. In anticipation of this publication, we discussed the UN initiatives which aim to advance the protection of children’s rights for a clean environment, their impacts and perspectives at the webinar “Towards a healthy planet: Implementing the right to a clean, healthy and toxic-free environment”. In our series Forward Thinkers webinars we deepen our intergenerational dialogue and also address the nexus of peace and hazardous chemicals.


On a perilous path to achieve dubious beauty standards, skin-lightening products have emerged as a popular solution, promising a brighter, more flawless complexion. But Mercury compounds in skin-lightening cremes pose serious health risks. Join us as we unravel the dangers posed by these toxins to both adults and children – and look at the solutions.


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More Information

Future Policy Award 2021

Protection from Hazardous Chemicals

In 2021, the Future Policy Award was dedicated to the most effective policy solutions that minimise the adverse effects of exposure to chemicals on human health, with a focus on children’s health, and the environment.

Future Policy Award


Alexandra Wandel

Alexandra Wandel

Management Board


Julius Brede

Julius Brede

Media & Communications Manager


The Future Policy Award 2023 is organised by the World Future Council in partnership with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the Minamata Convention on Mercury. This project was funded by the Federal Environment Agency and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection. The funds are made available by resolution of the German Bundestag. With the kind support of the Michael Otto Foundation.

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The publisher is responsible for the content of this publication.