default-output-block.skip-main
BoF Logo

The Business of Fashion

Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.

EU Proposes Ban on Deliberately Added Micro-Plastics to Combat Pollution

The tiny bits of plastic end up in waterways and oceans, giving rise to increasing concern about their effect on marine ecosystems.
Ocean water contaminated with micro-plastic beads | Source: Shutterstock
By
  • Reuters

HELSINKI, Finland — The EU Chemicals Agency ECHA on Friday proposed a ban on deliberately adding micro-plastics to products such as cosmetics, detergents and agricultural fertilisers in the EU by 2020, to combat pollution.

The tiny bits of plastic pollution end up in waterways and oceans, giving rise to increasing concern among scientists about their effect on marine ecosystems.

The European Commission, which estimates that between 70,000 and 200,000 tonnes of micro-plastics enter the environment each year, had requested the proposal from the ECHA as part of its plastics strategy.

"The aim is to avoid nearly 30,000 tonnes of micro-plastics ending up in nature a year," the ECHA's spokesman Matti Vainio said at a conference in Helsinki.

The Commission's Vice President Jyrki Katainen, who also spoke at the event, said an EU ban could set a standard for industries around the world.

"The European Union is first in the world to have launched a comprehensive plastics strategy which aims at reducing also micro-plastics," he said.

Vainio warned the use of micro-plastics would continue to increase rapidly without the ban.

"It emerged as a surprise to us that agriculture is the largest user of micro-plastics," Vainio said, referring to a widely-used technology to encapsulate agricultural fertilisers within tiny plastic shells that emit them slowly into the soil but leave behind micro-plastics.

The proposed ban would exclude some products such as medicine and paints.

By Anne Kauranen; editors: Alison Williams and Raissa Kasolowsky.

Related Articles

In This Article
Organisations

© 2024 The Business of Fashion. All rights reserved. For more information read our Terms & Conditions

More from Sustainability
How fashion can do better for people and the planet.




view more

Subscribe to the BoF Daily Digest

The essential daily round-up of fashion news, analysis, and breaking news alerts.

The Business of Fashion

Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.
CONNECT WITH US ON
BoF Professional Summit - New Frontiers: AI, Digital Culture and Virtual Worlds - March 22, 2024
© 2024 The Business of Fashion. All rights reserved. For more information read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Cookie Policy and Accessibility Statement.
BoF Professional Summit - New Frontiers: AI, Digital Culture and Virtual Worlds - March 22, 2024