Glitter and other microplastics are banned in the European Union

The sale of products to which they have been added microplasticssuch as glitter and some cosmetics, toys or detergents, among others, will be prohibited in the European Union (EU) based on Community legislation on chemical substances (REACH), with the aim of preventing around half a million tons of these synthetic particles from being released into the environment.

This new standard from the European Commission is one of the measures adopted so that EU member countries can meet their objective of reduce microplastic pollution by 30% from now to 2030. One of the purposes of the 2030 Agenda, which refers to this environmental problem in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Specifically, SDG 13 highlights the importance of stopping climate change and SDG 14 refers to the conservation and sustainability of oceans, seas and water resources.

What products will be affected by the ban

This restriction, which aims to protect the environment, includes “all synthetic polymer particles smaller than five millimeters that are organic, insoluble and resistant to degradation,” with the aim of reducing the amount of microplastics that are intentionally added as much as possible. possible number of products.

Among the products affected by the new regulations are, among many others:

  • Granular filler material used in synthetic sports surfaces.

  • Cosmetics in which microplastics are used for various uses such as exfoliation (microspheres) or obtaining a certain texture, fragrance or color.

  • Detergents and softeners.

  • Glitter.

  • Phytosanitary products.

  • Fertilizers.

  • Toys.

  • Medicines or sanitary products.

Products that are used in industrial sites or that do not release microplastics during use are exempt from the marketing ban, but their manufacturers will have to provide instructions on how to use and dispose of the product to avoid microplastic emissions.

When restrictions on microplastics come into force

The first measures will begin to be applied when the restriction comes into force, within 20 days, although in some cases the sales ban will be applied after a longer period so that those affected have time to develop alternatives and apply them. In addition, when duly justified, exceptions and transitional periods will be applied so that they can adapt to the new rules.


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