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EU bans microplastics added to consumer products

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on DW or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: Microplastics, pervasive across the globe from the oceans to human tissues, pose a long-lasting environmental threat, in response, the European Union is stepping up by banning the sale of microplastics and products containing them

🔭 The context: With an estimated 42,000 tons of microplastics released annually in the EU alone, these non-biodegradable particles accumulate, disrupting ecosystems and entering food supplies
• The unknown implications for human health make halting their proliferation critical

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Microplastics persist for centuries, and their complete removal from the environment is currently impossible
• The focus is now on prevention to protect ecosystems and human health from further insidious infiltration

⏭️ What's next: The EU's ban under the REACH legislation encompasses a wide range of products, from cosmetics to toys, aiming to prevent approximately 500,000 tons of microplastics from entering the environment
• Despite this, experts caution that these measures only begin to address the issue, as the majority of microplastics result from degradation and wear of larger plastic items, not from those intentionally added to products

💬 One quote: "We need to achieve 100% recycling. Plastic is not disposable; it's a valuable material that needs to be collected and recycled. This mindset must be instilled in people" (Marc Kreutzbruck, University of Stuttgart)

📈 One stat: The ban aligns with the EU's Zero Pollution Action Plan, targeting a 30% reduction in microplastics waste by 2030, yet microplastics in cosmetics constitute less than 1% of the overall volume of plastic in the environment

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