17 October 2023

Restriction of microplastics in the EU from 17 October 2023

As from 17 October 2023, Regulation (EU) 2023/2055 restricts synthetic polymer microparticles on their own or intentionally added to mixtures with the aim of reducing the emission of microplastics in everyday products in order to protect the environment.

The EU considers synthetic polymer particles smaller than 5 mm that are organic, insoluble and resistant to degradation to be microplastics. These types of particles are present in many products such as:

  • glitter,
  • facial scrubs and other types of cosmetics,
  • detergents
  • waxes, polishes and air fresheners,
  • certain fertilisers, plant protection products and seeds treated with them, biocides,
  • other agricultural and horticultural products other than those listed above
  • certain medical devices covered by Regulation (EU) 2017/745
  • granular infill for use in synthetic sports surfaces (such as rubber substrate for artificial turf sports surfaces).

The transitional periods for the implementation of the ban on the sale of these products in the EU are set out by the Regulation and are indicated in the table below:

Transitional period for the application of the ban
(according to paragraph 6 under entry 78 of Annex XVII to R/EC 1907/2006)

Designation of the substance, of the group of substances or of the mixture Date of application
  • Rinse-off products (intended to be removed after application on the skin, the hair or the mucous membranes), unless they contain beads for exfoliation, polishing or cleansing
From 17 October 2027
  • Detergents, waxes, polishes and air fresheners, unless they contain microbeads
  • Fertilising products
  • Other products for agricultural and horticultural uses
From 17 October 2028
  • Synthetic polymer microparticles for use in the encapsulation of fragrances
  • Leave-on product (intended to stay in prolonged contact with the skin, the hair or the mucous membranes)
  • Medical devices not containing microspheres
From 17 October 2029
  • Plant protection products and seeds treated with these products and biocides
  • Granular infill for use on synthetic sports surfaces
From 17 October 2031
  • Lip products, nail products and make-up products unless they contain microbeads
From 17 October 2035

Further information can be found in:

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