Reports

Restricting microplastics in Europe – How far and how fast?

3 May 2019


It is estimated that as much as 300,000 tonnes of microplastics are released annually into the EU’s environment. Microplastics are being found in our seas, soils and freshwater as well as in the Arctic. They are ending up in living organisms and are also being ingested by humans with potentially adverse health effects. As a result, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has submitted a proposal to restrict microplastics that have been intentionally added to products, with the objective of “reducing the amount of microplastics released to the environment in the EU by about 400 thousand tonnes over 20 years”.

This event, organised in cooperation with Fondazione Cariplo, assessed the state of the microplastics challenge in the EU with a focus on the ECHA’s new proposal, including its limitations, strengths and potential impact on the European economy, society and environment, as well as the next steps.

Speakers included: Stefan Sipka, Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre, Peter Simpson, Senior Scientific Officer, European Chemicals Agency, Sylvain Bintein, REACH & CLP Team Leader, Sustainable Chemicals, Circular Economy & Green Growth, DG Environment, European Commission, Federica Carlomagno, R&D Manager, ROELMI HPC, Jacob B. Hansen, Director General, Fertilizers Europe, Blanca Serrano Ramon, Director Product Stewardship, Cefic, Kevin Stairs, Chemicals Policy Director, Greenpeace European Unit.