Restriction of microplastics
The sale of products with added microplastics or those that release microplastics when used is gradually banned in the EU.
According to the EU Commission, the restriction uses a broad definition of microplastics and includes all synthetic polymer particles under five millimetres that are organic, insoluble and cannot be degraded, according to recently published information from the EU Commission. The aim of the restriction is to reduce emissions of microplastics from as many products as possible. Products that are used at industrial sites or do not release microplastics during use are exempt from the sales ban, according to the information. However, manufacturers of such goods must provide instructions on how to use and dispose of the product to avoid microplastic releases, according to the EU restriction. Certain exemptions also apply to medicines and food and animal feed.
In a first step, cosmetics with loose glitter or microbeads may no longer be sold as early as mid-October 2023, when the regulations come into force. For other products, there is a transitional period during which companies are supposed to switch to microplastic-free production. According to the regulations, detergents, fertilisers and pesticides, toys and medicinal products may also no longer contain microplastics in the future. According to the EU Commission, most microplastics in Europe are carried into the environment from sports facilities, where they lie as granules on artificial turf, for example. Here, the ban is to take effect after eight years, so that there is enough time to switch to alternatives.
- ec.europa.eu (Sept. 25, 2023)
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