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Microplastics: MEPs want stricter rules to reduce plastic pellet losses

25 April 2024 09:30, Lyudmila Kalapchieva
Emission of: Tuida News 2 months ago, number of readings: 179
European Parliament

Development and implementation of risk assessment plans

Improved information on storage and transport containers

Up to 180.000 tonnes of pellets are lost to the EU environment every year

On Tuesday, Parliament adopted its proposals to better prevent plastic pellets losses throughout the supply chain, with the goal of achieving zero losses.

 

MEPs adopted their first reading position on the proposed regulation on preventing plastic pellet losses to reduce microplastic pollution, with 538 votes in favour, 32 against and 31 abstentions. The new rules would require all entities handling plastic pellets to take measures to avoid losses. If these occur, they would have to take immediate action to contain and clean up spills.

 

Risk assessment plans for installations

 

The regulation would require economic operators to establish a risk assessment plan for each installation that handles annually over 1000 tonnes of plastic pellets. MEPs want this measure to apply as of two years after the entry into force of the regulation for large enterprises, three years for medium-sized enterprises and five years for small enterprises. They also want the plans to contain information on the number of tonnes of plastic pellets handled per year and the chemical nature of each polymer contained in plastic pellets on site.

 

Clear labelling of storage and transport containers

 

MEPs propose that all storage and transport containers carrying plastic pellets should be labelled with a specific pictogram and information linked to their danger, potential to harm the environment, the need to avoid release and collect any spillage.

 

You can read more about MEPs proposals in the press release following the committee vote.

 

Quote

 

Rapporteur João Albuquerque (S&D, PT) said: "This regulation comes at a time where it is increasingly important to raise awareness and take measures against microplastic pollution. We have all seen the importance of stricter rules, especially after the disaster that happened in Galicia, but plastic pellet pollution goes beyond that. I hope in the next mandate we will be able to negotiate a strong, prevention-based regulation that will lead to a significant decrease of plastic pellet pollution, which poses such a risk for human health and the environment.”

 

Next steps

 

The file will be followed up by the new Parliament after the 6 - 9 June European elections.

 

Background

 

In its 2021 action plan “Towards zero pollution for Air, Water and Soil”, the Commission proposed that, by 2030, the EU should reduce the number of microplastics released into the environment (intentionally and unintentionally) by 30%. Around 57 million tonnes of pellets were produced and handled in the EU in 2021. Between 52 140 and 184 290 tonnes of pellets are estimated to have been lost in the environment in the EU in 2019.