Summer 2022 special
Wednesday, July 15, 2020ECHA

ECHA's consultation on the restriction of microplastics

Consultation de l'ECHA sur la restriction des microplastiques

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) launched a public consultation on the restriction of microplastics intentionally added to products and is seeking feedback on the draft opinion of the Committee for Socio-economic Analysis (SEAC). This public consultation is open until 1 September 2020.

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In the framework of the EU Plastics Strategy and at the request of the European Commission, ECHA prepared a restriction dossier under the REACH Regulation targeting intentionally added microplastics in products. The dossier was published on ECHA’s website in 2019 and is being scrutinised by ECHA’s scientific committees.

The Risk Assessment Committee agreed on its opinion in June and the Socio-Economic Analysis Committee is now seeking views and additional evidence from stakeholders on their draft opinion.

ECHA’s restriction dossier has a wide-ranging definition of microplastics. They are defined as solid-polymer-containing particles, to which additives or other substances may have been added, and where ≥ 1% w/w of particles have (i) all dimensions 1nm ≤ x ≤ 5mm, or (ii), for fibres, a length of 3nm ≤ x ≤ 15mm and length to diameter ratio of >3.

The dossier proposes to ban certain consumer and professional uses, while other uses would be subject to labelling/information requirements and annual reporting. Microplastics covered by the dossier have multiple applications, including in agriculture, horticulture, sport fields, cosmetic products, paints, coatings, detergents, maintenance products, medical and pharmaceutical applications, applications in the oil and gas sectors, etc.
ECHA has estimated the impact of this unprecedented restriction. …

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