Restriction of polymers as “intentionally added microplastics”

VCI position to ECHA proposal for a restriction of polymers as "intentionally added microplastics"

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) submitted, according to the REACH Regulation and within a so-called Annex XV dossier, a restriction proposal entitled “Proposal for a Restriction “Substances Names: Intentionally added Microplastics”. Across industries, major legal uncertainty arises as to which products are affected. This VCI paper wants to demonstrate the impact on companies by way of concrete examples.

The ECHA proposal for a restriction of polymers as "intentionally added microplastics" implies major legal uncertainty. - Photo: © Fabien Cimetière / Fotolia.com
The ECHA proposal for a restriction of polymers as "intentionally added microplastics" implies major legal uncertainty. - Photo: © Fabien Cimetière / Fotolia.com

The title of the restriction and almost all statements in the dossier (e.g. statements on substance identity or risk assessment) suggest that this is a restriction of “microplastic”. In fact, the proposed restriction addresses all polymers and virtually all polymer-containing and polymer-coated materials and, therefore, not only “microplastic”.

Requirements, definitions and scope of the restriction are so complex and comprehensive that it is unclear and incomprehensible what precisely is to be covered. As fully explained in the VCI position paper on ECHA Annex XV, the restriction proposal thus does not comply with important provisions of the REACH Regulation.

Across industries, major legal uncertainty arises as to which products are affected.

The cost and work-intensive labelling obligations and annual reporting requirements to ECHA, as demanded in the proposal, are problematic too.

The position paper outlines impacts on companies, supply chains and products by way of concrete examples:

  • Distortions of competition and enforcement
  • Legal certainty for non-solid polymers
  • Cosmetic products
  • plant protection products and fertilizers
  • Medicinal products
  • Medical devices
  • Food supplements and other foodstuffs
  • Paints, coatings and printing inks
  • Dispersions for coatings and adhesives
  • Constructions chemicals - Concrete additives
  • Plastic pellets
  • Infill pellets for artificial turf of sport fields

Please find the full position paper (13 pages) in the download section at the top of this page.

For questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact us.

Contacts

Dr. Denis Pahlke

E-Mail: pahlke@vci.de

Dr. Michael Lulei

E-Mail: lulei@vci.de