By Marine Strauss
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission proposed measures on Monday to prevent microplastic pollution from the spillage of plastic pellets into the environment.
Measures proposed include prevention to avoid any spills of plastic pellets, which are small granules used in the plastics manufacturing process. Other suggested measures include containment of spilled pellets to make sure they do not pollute the environment and cleaning up afterwards, if a spill has occurred.
“Today’s proposal aims to ensure that all operators handling pellets in the EU take the necessary precautionary measures,” the EU Commission, the bloc’s executive, said in a statement.
“Currently, between 52,000 and 184,000 (metric) tons of pellets are released in the environment each year due to mishandling throughout the entire supply chain.”
The Commission expects to reduce pellet release by up to 74% with the new proposed precautionary measures.
It is now up to the EU’s 27 member states and the European Parliament to negotiate and approve draft measures.
(Reporting by Marine Strauss; Editing by Susan Fenton)