EU microplastic phaseout could prevent the release of 400,000 tonnes

European Chemicals Agency- ECHA has submitted a restriction proposal for microplastic particles that are intentionally added to mixtures used by consumers or professionals. If adopted, the restriction could reduce the amount of microplastics released to the environment in the EU by about 400 thousand tonnes over 20 years. ECHA’s assessment found that intentionally added microplastics are most likely to accumulate in terrestrial environments, as the particles concentrate in sewage sludge that is frequently applied as fertiliser. A much smaller proportion of these microplastics is released directly to the aquatic environment. The scope covers a wide range of uses in consumer and professional products in multiple sectors, including cosmetic products, detergents and medicinal products. Several EU Member States have already introduced bans on the use of microplastics in certain types of products, largely concerning wash-off cosmetic products. Cosmetics Europe and its member associations will continue their argument that the ECHA’s proposal to restrict microplastics on the EU market remains disproportionately weighted against beauty and personal care.

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