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New restriction on intentionally added microplastics

Annex XVII Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (REACH) amendment

On 27th September 2023, the European Commission unveiled an amendment to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (REACH) concerning the intentional addition of microplastics.

This revision introduces a new entry, number 78, in Annex XVII of the EU REACH chemical legislation. This specific entry restricts the use of synthetic polymer microparticles. Additionally, appendices 15 and 16 have been added, setting out criteria for verifying the degradability and solubility of these microplastics.

Synthetic particles less than 5mm

The restriction is applicable to purposefully added synthetic polymer particles smaller than five millimetres that are organic, non-soluble, and resistant to degradation. The regulation states that such microplastics “Shall not be placed on the market as substances on their own or, where the synthetic polymer microparticles are present to confer a sought-after characteristic, in mixtures in a concentration equal to or greater than 0,01 % by weight.”

Products falling under this restriction include (but are not restricted to):

  • Perfumes
  • Cosmetics
  • Washing agents
  • Fabric conditioner
  • Glitter
  • Toys
  • Medicines
  • Medical devices
  • Fertilisers
  • Granular substances used on artificial sports pitches, amongst others

Enforcement date 17th October 2023

The amended rule will come into force on 17th October 2023. There will be varying transition periods for the application of this restriction based on the product type, and for suppliers to meet specific informational and labelling guidelines.

For a more comprehensive understanding, please refer to the official publication on the Official Journal of the European Commission’s website.

Contact us to see how Eurofins Sustainability Services can help you comply.

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