Today, September 25, European Commission banned a range of products that are intentionally added with microplastics during production or that release significant amounts of them during use. In particular, granular coverings for sports fields are prohibited, which, as noted by the European Commission, are the largest purposefully created source of microplastics (unlike, for example, plastic bags, the decomposition of which produces microplastic particles). Cosmetics containing microplastics will also be prohibited, such as makeup glitter or scrubs with plastic balls, some types of toys, detergents, medical equipment, etc.
Some of these products, particularly cosmetics containing microplastics, will be banned 20 days after the ban is issued. In other cases, the European Commission will consult with manufacturers and experts to understand which of these products can be replaced and with what exactly. In some cases, the final ban will take 8 to 12 years to come into effect. According to the regulator, these bans should lead to a reduction in the amount of microplastics released into the environment by half a million tons.
Traces of microplastics are found everywhere on Earth, including the deepest sea trenches and the highest mountain peaks, as well as drinking water, food and even human blood. The growing volumes of such pollution have been causing concern to ecologists and other researchers for years. According to some calculationsabout a million tons of plastic waste end up in the ocean every year.