At the end of August, the European Commission published its Draft on the Restriction of Microplastics on its Web site. The regulation applies to the smallest particles of plastics that are often used in cleaners and personal care products because of their abrasive effects. With the regulation, the EU hopes that the release of 500,000 tons of microplastics will be avoided over the next 20 years. The EU is following its own action plan, Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil, which was published in May of last year.
The EU experts modified the draft originally submitted by the ECHA in several ways:
- To apply to microparticles larger than 0.1 micrometer (instead of 1 nanometer)
- To apply exemptions for use in industrial facilities, medications, fertilizers that are covered by the EU Fertilizer Regulation; food additives; and in-vitro diagnostic devices
- To require companies to indicate the presence of synthetic polymer microparticles on a product’s label, packaging, safety data sheet, or package leaflet
- To grant companies a transition period of 4–12 years, depending on the product
The draft will be discussed at the meeting of the REACH Committee on September 23.
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