Microplastics: EurEau regrets long transition periods for the ban of intentionally added microplastics
Following many months of delays, the Commission has finally published the REACH restriction proposal for synthetic microplastics intentionally added to products.
While this is fully in line with EurEau’s call to prevent the release of microplastics at the source, lengthy transition periods will mean that microplastics can be added to products for several years to come. Certain cosmetic products may contain microplastics for another 12 years, and pesticides for eight more years. The transition period for the granular infill for synthetic sports surfaces was even extended compared to the draft and is now fixed at eight years.
The Commission regulation amending Annex XVII of REACH still needs to be approved by a Member State committee in late April 2023.
Microplastics may enter the public sewer network. While they are mostly removed by urban wastewater treatment plants, they contaminate sewage sludge and reduce nutrient and material recovery options.
The Commission has yet to propose measures to reduce the amount of unintentionally released microplastics, including from tyres and textiles.