In a press release published on January 30, 2019, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) announced that it has submitted a restriction proposal for “microplastic particles that are intentionally added to mixtures used by consumers or professionals.” This was done after assessing the health and environmental risks posed by such particles and finding that they “are most likely to accumulate in terrestrial environments” and that “the persistence and the potential for adverse effects or bioaccumulation of microplastics is a cause for concern.” This follows ECHA’s earlier notification of intent to prepare such a restriction dossier (FPF reported).

The press release recognizes that this restriction is broad. “The scope covers a wide range of uses in consumer and professional products in multiple sectors, including cosmetic products, detergents and maintenance products, paints and coatings, construction materials and medicinal products, as well as various products used in agriculture and horticulture and in the oil and gas sectors.”

ECHA notes that if their proposal is adopted, it “could reduce the amount of microplastics released to the environment in the EU by about 400 thousand tonnes over 20 years.”

Read more

ECHA (January 30, 2019). “ECHA proposes to restrict intentionally added microplastics.”

ECHA (January 11, 2019). “Registry of restriction intentions.

European Environmental Bureau (January 30, 2019). “EU moves to ban microplastics in most products.

Luke Buxton (January 30, 2019). “Echa outlines proposed microplastics restriction measures.Chemical Watch

ECOS (January 30, 2019). “Press release: EU moves to ban microplastics in most products.

Emma Stoye (February 1, 2019). “EU-wide ban on microplastics added to goods proposed.”Chemistry World