17 May 2019

ECOS reacts to the ECHA Proposal on Intentionally Added Microplastics in Products

Because of the health and environmental risks, European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) issued an EU-wide restriction proposal for microplastic particles that are intentionally added to products and are likely to end up in the environment.

The scope covers a wide range of uses in consumer and professional products in multiple sectors, including cosmetics, detergents, paints and coatings, construction materials and medicinal products. The agricultural sector is identified as the biggest source of intentionally added microplastics through the use of fertilisers.

ECOS welcomes the ECHA proposal as it acknowledges the adverse effects of microplastics and aims to prevent their use in various sectors. However, we believe the proposal can be strengthened in several aspects.

To effectively end microplastics pollution and give a clear signal to the market, a complete ban is needed, instead of allowing intermediary solutions such as (bio)degradable polymers. We also believe the ban should be applied as widely as possible, and as quickly as possible, instead of having exemptions that could create loopholes. This would push industries to use natural, non-hazardous alternatives, that have already existed before the introduction of microplastics. Read our Position paper ECOS ECHA proposal!

ECOS is co-funded by the European Commission and EFTA

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