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EU agency withdraws unnecessary proposal to restrict oxy-degradable plastic

Restriction not needed as EU banning oxy-degradable plastics under single-use plastic directive

This article is powered by EU Food Law

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) said on May 8 that it had has withdrawn a restriction proposal – an intention - for oxy-degradable plastics under the EU’s REACH chemicals regulation.

The move followed a Commission request linked to the adoption of the EU directive on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, ECHA said in a brief statement.

The so-called single-use plastics directive, which the European Parliament approved by a massive majority on March 27, bans oxy-degradable plastic EU-wide from two years after the legislation comes into force, so some time in 2021.

Oxy-degradable materials were seen as an environmentally-friendly answer to plastic pollution until it was discovered that they break down into small, micro pieces that cannot be seen by the naked eye, creating plastic soup in the ocean and contaminating soil.

At the end of 2017 over 150 organisations, including PepsiCo and Unilever, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) called on governments around the world to ban oxo-degradable packaging, a call that the European Parliament heard and responded to by insisting a ban was included in the single-use plastics directive.

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