The ubiquitous presence of tiny fragments of synthetic or chemically-modified natural polymers, which are insoluble in water, degrade very slowly and can easily be ingested by living organisms, raises concerns about their general impact on the environment and, potentially, on human health.
Commission Regulation (EU) 2023/2055 of 25 September 2023 amending Annex XVII to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) as regards synthetic polymer microparticles (Text with EEA relevance).
Based on the scientific evidence provided by ECHA, the EU Commission decided to adopt measures that restrict microplastics intentionally added to products under the EU chemical legislation REACH.
The purpose is to reduce emissions of intentional microplastics from as many products as possible.
The adopted restriction covers Microplastics which fulfil the following conditions:
– They form particles; or are contained in particles and constitute at least 1 % by weight of those
particles; or build a continuous surface coating on particles
Only the particles of at least the following size shall be taken into account:
o All dimensions are more than 0.1 µm and less than 5 mm
o OR (for fibers) the length is maximum 15 mm and minimum 0.3 µm and the ratio
length/diameter is greater than 3;
– They do not result from a polymerization process that has taken place in nature;
– They are not biodegradable;
– They are insoluble ( water solubility below 2g/L);
– They contain at least a carbon atom in their chemical structure.
Solid synthetic polymers microparticles that fall under this definition 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.
The EU Commission restrictions reports a transition period starting from today as follows:
– October 17th, 2023: Ban of microbeads to exfoliate, polish or clean in all cosmetic products (rinse-off products, in lip products, in nail products, in make-up products,…).
– October 17th, 2027: ban of every microplastics in rinse-off products.
– October 17th, 2029: ban of every microplastics in any other cosmetic products and for fragrance encapsulation.
– October 17th, 2035: ban of every microplastics in lip products, nail products, and make-up products.
COMPLIFE. COMMITTED TO SCIENCE, COMMITTED TO YOU.