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 Full text 
Wednesday, 27 March 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment (debate)

  John Stuart Agnew (ENF). – Mr President, I am concerned that the EU is fraudulently harassing British innovation in degradable plastics. Parliament has not yet been made aware that, if we accept the reference to oxo-biodegradable plastics in Article 5, we would be evading the European Union’s own rules for banning substances. Please refer to Articles 68 to 73 of the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) legislation. Surely you won’t ignore your own legislation.

The Commission has acted under Article 69, requesting the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to study oxo-degradable plastics, because the Commission thought that they created microplastics. ECHA has not yet completed its study, but did advise – after ten months of work last October – that they were not convinced that microplastics were formed. If, and only if, ECHA were to recommend a restriction, this would need to be considered by two committees, according to Articles 70 and 71 of REACH, and put out to public consultation before any restriction could be implemented. None of this has been done. You’re breaking your own rules. Therefore, the reference to oxo-degradable plastic must be removed from Article 5 before the Directive is published in the Official Journal.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 162(8))

Last updated: 28 June 2019Legal notice