2019 saw global awareness of marine plastic pollution and single-use plastic grow exponentially, and 2021 will likely see similar focus on microplastics. 2021 has already seen a series of important steps building momentum towards regulation of the release of microplastics in the environment. In January, the Commission confirmed that impact assessment studies had begun, with a public consultation to take place during the coming spring and summer. This week the EU Chemicals Agency (ECHA) published a proposal for the wide restriction of microplastics intentionally added to products. This is just the beginning.

Responding to the Joint US Canada February 26th statement by Canada’s Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra and United States Transportation’s Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, on their dedication “to working with the IMO to effectively implement the ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil (HFO) as fuel in the Arctic”, Dr Sian Prior, Lead Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance said [1]:

In a mixed bag of voting outcomes, the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee (PECH) has called for more transparency around fisheries activities and traceability to seafood supply chains, while simultaneously weakening the existing rules for controlling EU fishing activities.

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