The EU must take action on plastic pellet pollution

Around 230 000 tonnes of plastic pellets end up in the ocean every year at the global level. While this pollution is claimed to be under control all along the supply chain, 5 recent cases of pellet leakage across Europe suggest otherwise.

Up to 160 000 tonnes of pellets are lost every year in Europe alone. Plastic pellets, also called nurdles or mermaid tears, are a raw material used in the manufacturing of plastic items. They are the virgin plastic that is melted and molded into plastic items. Pellets end up in nature when handled irresponsibly by plastic producers, transporters, recyclers or converters.

As part of the EU’s commitments under the new Circular Economy Action Plan, and the Commissions commitments to come up with a zero-pollution strategy next year, we are calling on the European Commission to adopt ambitious legal measures to tackle pellet pollution once and for all.

To date, pellet pollution has not been regulated by EU decision makers, and the voluntary industry initiative (Operation Clean Sweep) has proven to be unable to stop the pollution despite nearly 30 years of volunteer action.

For more information, you can read the full report by Surfrider Foundation Europe or check the Summary Paper. you can also view the Press Release.

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