EU implements restrictions on intentionally added microplastics
The European Union adopts measures against intentionally added microplastics, formally taking effect on October 17th, 2023.
We are pleased to share an important update in the fight against microplastic pollution. The European Commission has recently enacted measures under the EU chemical legislation REACH, targeting microplastics intentionally added to various products. This strategic move aims to prevent the release of approximately half a million tonnes of microplastics into the environment.
Immediate Bans: Certain items, including loose glitter and microbeads, will face an immediate ban, effective from October 17th, 2023.
Gradual Implementation: For other products, such as fertilizers, detergents, waxes, polishes, and air care products a phased sales ban will be introduced, allowing businesses ample time to transition to alternatives seamlessly.
Considerate Exemptions: Certain products are exempt from the regulation, such as microplastics used at industrial sites, medicines, food additives or those not releasing microplastics during use. However, manufacturers are required to provide explicit usage and disposal instructions to ensure responsible practices.
This development aligns with the EU's commitments outlined in the European Green Deal and the Circular Economy Action Plan. The aim is to reduce microplastics pollution by 30% by 2030, as stated in the Zero Pollution Action Plan.
These regulations follow a meticulous assessment by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), highlighting the uncontrolled release of intentionally added microplastics into the environment. The resulting proposal under REACH gained substantial support from EU member states, the European Parliament, and the Council.
With these initiatives, the EU is not only addressing microplastic pollution but also setting a global standard for responsible environmental management safeguarding the health of its citizens and all other living organisms. Click here for further details on the adopted measures and here to read the entire regulation.
Keywords: microplastics, nanoplastics, human health, plastic pollution, science, European Commission