The European Commission has requested the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to prepare a proposal to restrict intentionally added microplastics. This is part of actions to curb plastic waste and littering, under the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy.
Once released into the environment, microplastics are practically impossible to remove and are expected to remain there for hundreds, possibly thousands of years, with severe and well-documented effects on the environment.
The undersigning civil society organisations across multiple sectors reiterate our firm support to the restriction of all intentionally added microplastics irrespective of their use under REACH, as proposed by ECHA.
However, as explained below, we are deeply concerned with the potentially very broad proposed derogations regarding allegedly biodegradable microplastics and unduly long transitional periods, as they will considerably undermine the capacity of the restriction to achieve its objective.