ECHA’s public consultations on the restriction dossier for intentionally added microplastics

Microplastics are synthetic, water-insoluble polymer items  smaller than 5 mm, which are of particular concern for the aquatic  environment. The potential impact of microplastics on the (aquatic)  environment and human health have generated concerns in Member States of  the European Union and worldwide.

On spring 2018 the Commission asked ECHA to invite stakeholders to  participate to the call for evidence concerning microplastics with the purpose to gather further information and assess the impacts of a  possible restriction.

Current evidence suggests a potential risk to the environment and  human health from microplastic particles that are intentionally added to  certain consumer or professional products such as cosmetics, detergents  and paint, therefore ECHA prepared a restriction dossier under the  European regulation on registration, evaluation, authorization and  restriction of chemicals (REACH).

The dossier was published on ECHA website on 30 January 2019 and  passed the conformity check in March. The public consultation is now  ongoing, and the restriction dossier will be scrutinised by the  risk-assessment and socio-economic analysis committees of ECHA.

The stakeholders of the main industries that could be interested by  the restriction are invited to contribute to the public consultation  until 20 September 2019.

ECHA has estimated that the impact of this restriction will be  significant. However, the emission reduction obtained through the  restriction would amount to 400.000 tonnes of microplastics and cost €  9.4 Billion over the next 20 years.

Silvia Ziliotti

Regulatory Department

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