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Parliamentary questions
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5 March 2020
Question for written answer E-001371/2020
to the Commission
Rule 138
Frédérique Ries (Renew)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Plastic microfibre filters for new washing machines by 2025

The EU has chosen to take on microplastic pollution as part of the European Strategy for Plastics. This policy is absolutely vital, as these miniscule non-biodegradable synthetic polymers are dangerous to the environment, accumulating in the soil and water before finally ending up in the food chain. One striking example is the extensive use of plastic microfibres in the textile industry, which is estimated to account for between 15% and 31% of the 9.5 million tonnes of plastics entering our oceans each year. France has just adopted a law to curb this pollution, proposing that by 2025 every new washing machine must have a filter to catch plastic microfibres that come away from clothing during washing.

1. What are the Commission’s views on this national measure in support of the circular economy?

2. Will the Commission draw inspiration from this good practice when drawing up future measures to implement the Ecodesign directive, and suggest to washing machine manufacturers that they install microplastics filters?

3. If so, what timeframe seems reasonable to the Commission for this new rule to be introduced across the board at EU level?

Original language of question: FR
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