The European Comission will prohibit the sale of products to which microplastics have been intentionally added, such as detergents, cosmetics or toysamong others.

It is done based on the Community legislation on chemical substances (REACH) to avoid the release into the environment of approximately half a million tons of these synthetic particles.

This new rule is part of Brussels’ efforts to fulfill its goal of reducing pollution by microplastics by 30% by 2030.

The restriction adopted covers all particles of psynthetic polymers less than five millimeters that are organic, insoluble and resistant to degradation with the aim of reducing intentional microplastic emissions from as many products as possible.

The scope of the new regulations includes granular filler material used in synthetic sports surfaces; cosmetics in which microplastics are used for multiple uses such as exfoliation (microspheres) or obtaining a texture, fragrance or color specific; detergents, fabric softeners, glitter, fertilizers, phytosanitary products, toys, medicines or health products, among many others.

Products used in industrial sites or that do not release microplastics during use are exempt from the sales ban, but their manufacturers will have to provide instructions on how to use and dispose of the product to avoid microplastic emissions.

The first measures, such as the ban on non-stick glitter and microbeads, will begin to apply when the restriction comes into force, within 20 days. In other cases, the sales ban will be applied after a longer period to give affected parties time to develop alternatives and implement them.

Furthermore, where duly justified, exceptions and transitional periods will be applied to allow affected parties to adapt to the new rules.