About: Microplastics

Europe’s bathing waters may not be as good as EU assessment suggests

With just a few weeks to go before the summer holidays, the EU's environment agency (EEA) and the  European Commission have presented quite satisfactory results for the bloc's bathing areas in 2020. However, some environmentalists have warned that this does not reflect "the true reality of our waters"
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Circular materials 18-05-2021

Boosting tyre recycling – Essential to the European Green Deal

If you were to string together the more than 300,000,000 waste tyres accumulated annually in Europe, you would travel around the entire world. Tyre recyclers take a major waste challenge and turn it into sustainable valuable resources, paving the way...
Circular materials 20-04-2021

EU seeks ‘reliable’ method to measure microplastic pollution from tyres

An EU regulation on tyre labelling due to come into force on 1 May will not cover the rate at which tyres shed particles – a major contributor to microplastics in Europe – as an agreed method for the calculation of abrasion is still not in place.
Circular materials 02-04-2021

Tyre industry and environmentalists lock horns over potential rubber infill ban

Green campaigners have warned that failure by the EU to designate rubber infill derived from tyres as a banned microplastic will lead to significant environmental harm – a claim the tyre and recycling industries strongly reject.
Transport 07-09-2020

Tyre industry pushes back against evidence of plastic pollution

A growing body of scientific research linking tyre wear to microplastic pollution, as well as increasing scrutiny from lawmakers in the European Union, has led the €150 billion-a-year tyre industry to fight back.

EU microplastics ban needs to aim smaller, advisers say

A draft EU ban on microplastics would allow industry to use even smaller particles in cosmetics, detergents and paints, which could be more damaging than the tiny pieces of plastic already clogging up the natural world, campaigners and some EU advisers say.
Coronavirus 22-06-2020

Sinkevicius: COVID-19 cannot be an excuse to curb EU’s green ambition

Member states cannot use the COVID-crisis as an excuse to weaken the EU's environmentral and health protection efforts, European Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius told EURACTIV Italy in an exclusive interview.
Health 24-01-2020

Germans push back against green alternatives to artificial football pitches

The EU is considering new curbs on microplastics, a decision which could also affect the synthetic turfs of countless football pitches in Germany. Yet, replacing all surfaces by real grass, although more environmentally-friendly, is hardly feasible. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Circular economy 17-01-2020

Plastic waste and recycling: France among EU’s ‘poor performers’

While the EU's plastic recycling rate has seen a slight increase of 1.4% between 2016 and 2018 amounting to 32.5% total according to Plastics Europe, France has been dragging the average down with a 24.2% recycling rate in 2018. EURACTIV's partner le Journal de l'Environnement reports.
Circular economy 12-09-2019

First ‘millennial’ Commissioner to address challenges for Generation Z

Putting the youngest ever Commissioner-designate in charge of managing the most fearful threats for future generations of Europeans, such as environment protection and oceans' conservation, is the biggest gamble Ursula von der Leyen took in composing her team.
Health 31-07-2019

EU will not ban artificial turf pitches but could impose restrictions

The European Union will not ban artificial turf pitches, at least yet, but the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) is looking at alternatives, as this material is an important source of microplastics.

Microplastics also travel through the air, says new study

Microplatics are not only found in the world’s oceans but can also reach isolated areas by air, according to a study published in Nature Geoscience on 15 April. EURACTIV’s partner le Journal de l'environnement reports.

Time to banish wet wipes from our sewers

Plastics in our sewer system costs consumers money and the European water sector has its daily challenges, one of them being sewers getting clogged regularly by plastics and wet wipes, explain Oliver Loebel and Maxime Bineau.

MEPs vote to turn ‘plastic wastelands into fields of gold’

European lawmakers overwhelmingly backed an advisory report on the EU’s landmark plastics strategy on Thursday (13 September). It calls on the European Commission to ban certain types of micro-plastics by 2020.
Circular economy 07-02-2018

A plan for plastics

The EU is losing 95% of the value of the plastics it produces. But the European Commission has a strategy to make plastic packaging more sustainable, both environmentally and economically.
Circular economy 16-01-2018

Karmenu Vella: ‘Well-designed’ plastics tax could help hit environment targets

As the European Commission sketches out its vision for the future of plastic production and pollution in its new strategy, the EU executive's environment chief, Karmenu Vella, explained how developments in China, Africa and Europe itself have shaped its plastics roadmap.
Circular economy 19-12-2017

Plastics: The invisible oil spill

Plastic is everywhere, polluting our waters, choking marine wildlife, and even in our food and water. It is a problem of global proportions but an ambitious EU Plastics Strategy can create vital momentum, writes Pierre-Yves Cousteau.

UN agrees on resolution to combat ‘planetary crisis’ of ocean plastics

UN delegates at an environment summit in Kenya agreed on Wednesday (6 December) a new non-binding resolution intended to stop plastic waste from finding its way into the world’s oceans.
Circular economy 01-12-2017

Upgrade the plastic, don’t ban or tax it

A tax or ban on plastics won't solve pollution problems, but it would deprive the world od a cheap and valuable material. The solution is to make it biodegradable and recyclable, writes Michael Stephen.
Circular economy 21-11-2017

Microplastics, macro problems

Tackling the visible impact of plastic pollution is one thing. But if we’re serious about finding a long-term solution, revealing the invisible impact is imperative, writes the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Jocelyn Blériot, calling for a ban on oxo-degradable plastics that are still widely used in carrier bags.
Circular economy 13-10-2017

EU rules out tax on plastic products to reduce waste

EU opts for public awareness campaign on the impacts of plastics on the environment saying a tax would not be sustainable, reports EURACTIV's media partner, The Guardian.
Circular economy 27-09-2017

Squaring the circle of plastics recycling

The snail pace so far in terms of implementation of the EU Action Plan on the Circular Economy is embarrassing, write Anders Wijkman and Catia Bastioli.

Plastic fibres found in tap water around the world, study reveals

Microplastic contamination has been found in tap water in countries around the world, leading to calls from scientists for urgent research on the implications for health. EURACTIV’s partner The Guardian reports.
Circular economy 31-07-2017

Planet’s addiction to plastic bottles ‘as dangerous as climate change’

A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the number will jump another 20% by 2021, creating an environmental crisis some campaigners predict will be as serious as climate change. EURACTIV’s partner The Guardian reports.