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The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is set to finalize a restriction proposal on microplastics at the beginning of 2019 after the European Commission’s order to investigate whether an EU-wide restriction for intentionally added microplastics would be warranted.

The order came after the release of ECHA’s assessment that microplastics which are added to products are more likely to be released to, and accumulate in, terrestrial and freshwater environments rather than the oceans.

The restriction proposal will then be sent to ECHA’s scientific committees (Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) and Committee for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC)) who will prepare a committee opinion by April 2020 to be sent to EC.

Aside from the microplastics, ECHA is also investigating the risks posed by oxo-degradable plastics.