Litigation Using Existing Laws


Many countries already have laws around waste or littering that cover pellet pollution incidents. Communities and NGOs have successfully mounted legal cases against companies found to be breaking these laws through chronic pellet pollution.

Opportunity

The high profile of individual cases puts pressure on the wider industry to make change.
Money raised by litigation can also be used for campaigns to raise the profile of pellet pollution. Companies are often required to clean up polluted sites.

Challenge

It is hard to prove exactly where pellets came from once in the environment. Some cases have required evidence from years of monitoring. While existing laws might catch some of the worst offenders, small-scale, chronic leaks are unlikely to be tackled, which still add up to an enormous pollution problem.

Current Activity

European Commission

Actions

Coming soon

Resources

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 – Anti-waste circular economy (la loi anti-gaspillage pour une ├ęconomie 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

Examples of other NGO’s work

Fidra – Laws to end pellet pollution – Solutions to Pellet Pollution Series Webinar

This is our third webinar in the ‘Solutions to pellet pollution series’.

Speakers discuss how new and existing laws can be used to address the issue of plastic pellet pollution and how NGOs can impact this.

Plastic Soup Foundation – Nurdle work in the Netherlands and Belgium – Project page

Since 2015 the Plastic Soup Foundation have been researching the extent of nurdle pollution across the Netherlands and Belgium. They…

The Texas Tribune – Plastic company illegally polluted Lavaca Bay and other waterways pay $50 million settlement in 2019 – News Report

Citizen action against Formosa Plastics in Texas The news article details a $50 million lawsuit settlement due to the illegal…