Proposal for EU regulation on preventing pellet losses to reduce microplastic pollution


The European Commission is proposing new laws to address plastic pellet pollution. Every European country surveyed for the Great Nurdle Hunt is found to be experiencing plastic pellet pollution. The current proposal focus on pellet loss prevention in the plastic supply chain but does not yet include all businesses. Previous legislation introduced into the EU focussed only on reporting plastic pellet loss.

Opportunity

Existing environmental laws and voluntary efforts by industry have so far failed to prevent plastic pellet pollution across the European Union. In 2023 new laws were proposed by the European Commission which focus on obliging the plastic pellet supply chain to introduce measures to prevent plastic pellet loss and spills.  In 2024 we expect to see amendments and MEPs to vote on these proposals.

Challenge

The current proposals (16 October 2023) are the first attempt to legislate specifically to prevent pellet loss. However to be effective these proposals must be strengthen to apply to the whole plastic pellet supply chain (the 2023 proposals currently has exemptions for small and medium size enterprises, SMEs). The current proposals also do not address pellets spills at sea.

Current Activity

European Commission is currently working through the legislative process with MEPs examining and debating the issues. NGOs across Europe are highlighting to officials and MEPs how the current proposal to prevent pellet pollution from across the supply chain.  MEPs are expected to vote is later in 2024 before the European Parliamentary Elections.

Actions

Read our briefing compiled with NGOs across Europe on how the current legislation proposal can be improved to prevent plastic pellet pollution.

Resources

EIA, ecos, Seas at Risk, Fidra, Fauna & Flora, Rethink Plastic, Surfrider, Pew: EU Regulation Proposal on Plastic Pellet Loss

This brief addresses EU Regulation Proposal on Plastic Pellet Loss The European Commission proposed regulation of plastic pellet loss in…

Surfrider and NGOs: Open to MEPs on Proposed EU Regulation on Plastic Pellets

This open letter signed by NGOs including Surfrider and Fidra urges MEPs to strengthen proposed EU Regulation on plastic pellets…

EU Regulation – Proposed restriction of intentionally added microplastics 2023

A series of links to information on the EU restriction of intentionally-added microplastics

Signature Litigation – Summary on France’s anti waste law 2020

The French act of law against waste and for a circular economy came into force February 2020 and includes prevention measures including:

Equipment and procedures requirements for industrial sites that produce, handle and transport plastic pellets
Mandatory regular inspections by independent certified bodies

French Government РAnti-waste circular economy (la loi anti-gaspillage pour une économie circulaire) AGEC Law

The French act of law against waste and for a circular economy came into force February 202 and includes prevention measures including:

Equipment and procedures requirements for industrial sites that produce, handle and transport plastic pellets
Mandatory regular inspections by independent certified bodies