Microplastics – and the even smaller nanoplastics – are everywhere: in the environment, in the ocean, on land, and in our food , with a proven impact on both living […]
Microplastics – and the even smaller nanoplastics – are everywhere: in the environment, in the ocean, on land, and in our food , with a proven impact on both living organisms and ecosystems. Such pollution has to be stopped at the source and across all economic sectors before it turns into a worldwide health and environmental plague. We are working both on microplastics intentionally added to products and on the unintentional release of microplastics from multiple sources such as synthetic textiles, tyres, plastic pellets, paints, agri-plastics, and geosynthetics.
Microplastic pollution is the invisible side of global plastic pollution. All sources of plastic pollution need to be tackled through mandatory measures. Working on microplastics allows us to stress the hidden volumes of this crisis, the toxicity and health implications of plastic pollution. Microplastics shape and size matter: the smaller the plastic particles are, the more dangerous they become as they absorb, concentrate and release surrounding hazardous substances as well as plastic additives already present in them.
The ongoing EU initiatives to tackle both intentionally added and non-intentionally released microplastics present a huge opportunity to take significant steps to address and eventually end microplastic pollution with mandatory regulatory actions. We need ambitious measures to be legally binding targeting as many sources as possible, which is exactly what RPa is advocating for.
Most microplastics found in the environment result from the degradation of larger plastic products and are almost impossible to retrieve once in the environment, but their release can be prevented by measures taken at source to reduce plastic use, notably single-use plastics, and redesign products. ..
However, of the myriad of microplastic sources, RPa considers plastic pellets (or ‘nurdles’) to be the ‘low hanging fruit’. A substantial and growing body of evidence demonstrates that a mandatory supply-chain certification approach, incorporating accreditation and chain of custody to verify best practice handling and management, is the most efficient and cost-effective means to minimise this considerable source of microplastic pollution.
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