Protecting environment and health: Commission adopts measures to restrict intentionally added microplastics

The Commission recently did another important step in protecting the environment by adopting measures that limit the intentional addition of microplastics to products covered by EU REACH legislation on chemicals. With these new rules, which will prevent the release of about half a million tons of microplastics into the environment, the sale of microplastics as such and products containing intentionally added microplastics will be prohibited and free microplastics when used. In duly justified cases derogations and transitional periods will apply to enable interested parties to adapt to the new rules. Common products covered by this restriction include: granular inlay material used for artificial sports surfaces, which is the main source of intentionally used microplastics in the environment; cosmetics, in which microplastics are used for multiple purposes, such as exfoliation (micrograins) or obtaining a specific consistency, fragrance or colour; detergents, fabric softeners, glitters, fertilisers, plant protection products, toys, medicines and medical devices, etc.