The European Union is moving closer towards restrictions to reduce or eliminate the use of microplastics one of the pollutants the scientists say is increasing threatening the world’s oceans and environment. The EU’s Committee for Socio-economic Analysis (SEAC) this week announced its actions on a landmark restriction proposal, which would ban the use of microplastics in common products, following a similar opinion by the Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) in June 2020.
Both committees concluded that an EU-wide restriction is the most appropriate means to address the risks of billions of small, solid plastic particles polluting our environment. They reported that the limitations, which could also be extended to artificial turf used in sports stadiums, would prevent the release of 500,000 tons of microplastics into the environment over 20 years.
Researchers studying the oceans are now estimating that there could be as much as 8 to 14 million tons of plastics on the ocean floor. If that is accurate, it suggests that the plastics have become a far greater problem in the ocean that first estimated. Their figures are show that plastic beneath the surface is up to 35 times more than the estimated weight of plastic pollution on the surface. They also say that plastic is entering the oceans at the rate of 4 to 8 million tons per year. Microplastics are carried into the ocean through runoff and also created as larger plastics breakdown in the water.
“We need to protect our environment from microplastic pollution, and this restriction proposal is the most comprehensive of its kind in the world,” said Bjorn Hansen, Executive Director of the European Chemicals Agency. “We have now concluded our scientific and technical assessment and given our recommendations on how to best address the risks. This will contribute to decision making in the European Commission and the aims of the EU’s Plastics Strategy.”
The proposals the committees are putting forth aim to ban products from the European market that contain intentionally added microplastics if these are released to our environment when the products are used. Examples are cosmetics, cleaning and laundry products, fertilizers, plant protection products and seed coatings.
Other products, such as paints and inks, may also contain microplastics, but their use does not always lead to environmental releases. Under the current proposals, these uses would not be prohibited but would need to be reported to ECHA to ensure that residual releases are monitored and could be controlled in the future. Suppliers would also be obligated to give instructions on how residual releases can be minimized.
The total cost of the restriction to European society is estimated to be €10.8 or €19.1 billion depending on how environmental risks from the granular infill material, mainly from shredded car tires, are addressed. The costs consist of the need to reformulate mixtures, replace microplastics with alternative materials and the need for authorities to enforce the restriction.
As a next step, the ECHA will send the opinions of both committees and the restriction proposal to the European Commission, where it will be voted on by the EU Member States in the REACH Committee and scrutinized by the Council and the European Parliament.
Go to Source
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The naval forces of the US and Bahrain recently staged a joint force training exercise which showcased the interoperability between coalition warships operating I the Arabian Gulf. Coalition Task Force Sentinel executed combined exercise Sentinel Shield supporting Sentry and Sentinel patrols in the coalition’s area of operations. The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones and […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Network Airline Management and TAAG Angola Airlines are pleased to announce the renewal of their long-term freighter aircraft contract by an additional 12 months, sealing an ongoing partnership for the foreseeable future. Operating a regular weekly scheduled service from Liege, Belgium, to the capital of Angola, Luanda, Network Airline Management provides a Boeing 747-400F aircraft […]
Qatar Airways Cargo transported 56 SkyCell containers with vaccines from one of the largest vaccine manufacturers worldwide on its scheduled freighter and belly-hold cargo flights for its customer, CEVA Logistics. The 54-tonne shipment consisting of pneumococcal and varicella vaccines were flown from Brussels to Mumbai via the carrier’s hub in Doha on two separate flights. […]