A couple of weeks ago I read an article in a newspaper concerning the so-called ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch' - a huge area in the Pacific Ocean where, according to estimations, 80,000 tons of garbage has accumulated over the years.
And 99% of this rubbish consists of plastic.
Of this again, around 6,400 tons consist of particles <5 mm, fitting the definition of microplastics.
Microplastics are quite persistent in nature and can already be found in fish or fish-eating animals like sea birds etc.
In addition, once part of the food chain, microplastics are already detected in the human organism.
And neither the effects of microplastics on the environment nor on human health are well understood.
For these reasons the ECHA decided to take a closer look at the issue, and in March 2019 published a proposal on the ‘restriction of intentionally added microplastics'.