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Parliamentary questions
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6 June 2020
Answer given by Mr Sinkevičius
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-001371/2020

Discussions are ongoing with the French authorities regarding the lack of notification of the new French legislation under Directive 2015/1535, which imposes an obligation upon Member States to notify to the Commission technical regulations concerning products and information society services at a draft stage.

The Commission looked into the possibility of setting requirements on the use of washing machine filters to capture plastic microfibres that come off from clothing during washing in the context of the adoption of recent Ecodesign measures. Regulation 2019/2023(1) does not foresee Ecodesign requirements on filters for household washing machines and washer-dryers as there was no technical solution that was mature enough and commercially available at the time when the ecodesign requirements were discussed.

The review clause of the Ecodesign regulation on washing machines and washer-dryers (Article 8, paragraph f) provides that by 25 December 2025, the Commission should assess the possibility of new requirements for reducing the amount of microplastics in the water outlet of washing machines, for example with filters or other technical solutions.

The Commission is working on options for policy measures to avoid the unintentional release of microplastics along the lifecycle of synthetic textiles, including the use phase and washing of synthetic textiles, and will launch a study in the first half of 2020.

Furthermore, the Commission continues to cooperate with the textile sector on this issue under the framework of the related Cross Industry Agreement (CIA). CIA signatories and the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) are working on test methods.

(1)Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/2023 of 1 October 2019 laying down ecodesign requirements for household washing machines and household washer-dryers pursuant to Directive 2009/125/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, amending Commission Regulation (EC) No 1275/2008 and repealing Commission Regulation (EU) No 1015/2010 (Text with EEA relevance.), OJ L 315, 5.12.2019, p. 285‐312.
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