ECHA’s Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) supports a complete ban on using microplastics as infill material on artificial turf pitches while recommending more stringent criteria for biodegradable polymers.
In January 2019, ECHA proposed a wide-ranging restriction on intentional uses of microplastics in products placed on the EU/EEA market to avoid or reduce environmental pollution. Currently, the releases of intentionally added microplastics in the EU/EEA are estimated to be around 42 000 tonnes a year. Additional releases from infill material used in artificial turf pitches could amount to 16 000 tonnes per year. The proposed restriction would prevent more than 90 % of these releases, or 500 000 tonnes of microplastic releases over a 20-year period.
The restriction proposal was developed in the context of the EU Plastics Strategy, which aims at circular plastics economy and contributes to reaching the 2030 sustainable development goals, the global climate commitments and the EU's industrial policy objectives.
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