EU Parliament petitions the Commission to ban microbead plastics

A small group of MEPs, see below, has drawn up a parliamentary petition aimed at the EU Commission which seeks to ban the use of microbead plastics in commercial products.

Microbead plastics, which are too small to be seen by the naked eye, are now regularly used in commercial products such as toothpastes, shampoos and beauty products, and are becoming a major source of plastic pollution in the oceans. They are ingested by all forms of marine life.

The parliamentary petition, known as a Written Declaration, has been drawn up by the following Members of the Euopean Parliament (MEPs): Catherine Bearder (ALDE), Roberta Metsola (PPE), Ricardo Serrão Santos (S&D), Margrete Auken (Verts/ALE), Brian Hayes (PPE), Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy (ALDE), Marco Affronte (EFDD), Linnéa Engström (Verts/ALE), Françoise Grossetête (PPE), José Inácio Faria (ALDE), Kathleen Van Brempt (S&D).

The Written Declaration [No. 0006/2016, tabled 1st February 2016] reads:

Written declaration, under Rule 136 of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, on the reduction of microplastic pollution

  1. The European Marine Strategy Framework Directive states that microplastics contribute to the serious problem of marine litter.
  2. Microplastics originate from different sources including the breakdown of larger plastic materials, the shedding of synthetic textile fibres and the use of plastic microbeads in personal care products.
  3. Because of their small size, they enter waste water treatment systems and are discharged into oceans. Microplastics are becoming prevalent throughout Europe’s seas, posing a risk to marine life — including to commercial food species — through ingestion.
  4. The European Parliament resolution of 14th January 2014 on a European strategy on plastic waste in the environment called for single use plastics that cannot be recycled, such as plastic microbeads, to be phased out of the market or banned outright.
  5. Policy initiatives have been gaining momentum at municipal and state levels in the USA and some multinationals have stopped producing cosmetics containing plastic microbeads, demonstrating the feasibility of these actions.
  6. The Commission is hence called upon to address the issue of plastic microbeads in personal care products, in line with the EU’s role in protecting the environment.
  7. This declaration, together with the names of the signatories, is forwarded to the Council and the Commission.

If you want your MEP to sign this Written Declaration, you can contact your MEP with this request here
Source, see

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