EU lawmakers are looking to tighten regulations on plastic pollution after the accident in Spain

EU lawmakers are looking to tighten regulations on plastic pollution after the accident in Spain

Katerina Belousova

Each year, 176,000 metric tons of plastic pellets enter the environment

A number of EU lawmakers are pushing for a tougher planned law on microplastic pollution after millions of plastic pellets washed up on the coast in Spain.

In December, at least one container of these pellets fell from a ship off Portugal, Reuters reports.

It is noted that plastic pellets are used to make everyday items such as bottles, bags, etc. Once in the ocean, these pellets pose a serious threat to its inhabitants. In addition, due to their small size, they are difficult to collect.

The article says that the EU is developing a law to prevent pellet spills. According to the European Chemicals Agency, 176,000 metric tons of such pellets are accidentally released into the environment every year.

João Albuquerque, the European Parliament's lead negotiator on the new law, said that the new rules should also be extended to other plastics, including crumbs, dust and powder. Such plastic is also used to produce a number of goods.

"It has become extremely urgent. These dramas can almost always be avoided," he said.

It is noted that the European Parliament plans to agree on the negotiating position as soon as possible in order to pass the law before the elections in June.

The European Commission said its initial proposal for the law did not apply to maritime transport, as environmental issues in international shipping are handled by the International Maritime Organization. However, the EC has proposed strengthening the law to cover at least plastic pollution during intra-EU transport.

Earlier, EcoPolitic wrote, that in Europe since October 17 the sale of glitter and products made from it, i.e. plastic sequins, has been banned in order to limit microplastic pollution, which is harmful to the environment.

As EcoPolitic previously reported, scientists found microplastics at an altitude of almost 3 km in the air of a "clean station" in the French Pyrenees.

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