EPJ Plus article on first steps towards microplastics regulation in Europe selected for Springer Nature Grand Challenges Programme

In modern times, assessing the impact of climate change on the vulnerability of radiological practices is necessary to implement risk management policies and secure facilities.

Scientific, political and socio-economic aspects of the dossier on plastic pollution solicited by the European Commission.

In November 2017, as part of the EU Plastics Strategy, the European Commission (EC) requested that the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) develop a dossier on microplastics' restriction under REACH. REACH is a EU chemical regulation adopted in 2006, and its aims are the protection of human health and the environment.

The requested restriction process concerns not only environmental and health risk assessments but is closely related to socio-economic impacts within the union. Therefore, several EU committees, such as the Risk Assessment Committee (RA) and the Committee for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEA) are involved in the examination of the preparatory study submitted by ECHA.

The whole restriction process is clearly described by E. Kentin in European Physical Journal Plus (EPJ Plus). She explains the REACH regulation and introduces the actors (ECHA, RA and SEA) that are involved in the process.Then she extensively digs into the contents of the proposed dossier, quoting the definition of microplastics established by the EC:

- Microplastics consist of man-made, conventional plastics. - Microplastics also include bio-degradable plastics, bio-based analogue plastics and biobased alternative plastics. - Microplastics are solid and water-insoluble particles.

- Microplastics have particle size below 5 mm and include nanometer sized plastic as well (nanoparticles).

The dossier clarifies that human health and environmental protection go hand in hand with the regulation of the internal market. Hence, the free movement of substances and products within the Union is an essential aspect of the proposal. In other words, the scientific data on hazards and environmental fate is only one side of the coin, and the restriction of substances must be justified on the basis of socio-economic assessment, which would involve determining the Member States’ political will.

Even if the economic aspect of the dossier has the biggest impact on the final restriction regulation, it is of great importance that the scientific community provides all the available evidence in order to lead towards a robust justification of restriction.

This was our first experience of publishing with EPJ Web of Conferences. We contacted the publisher in the middle of September, just one month prior to the Conference, but everything went through smoothly. We have had published MNPS Proceedings with different publishers in the past, and would like to tell that the EPJ Web of Conferences team was probably the best, very quick, helpful and interactive. Typically, we were getting responses from EPJ Web of Conferences team within less than an hour and have had help at every production stage.
We are very thankful to Solange Guenot, Web of Conferences Publishing Editor, and Isabelle Houlbert, Web of Conferences Production Editor, for their support. These ladies are top-level professionals, who made a great contribution to the success of this issue. We are fully satisfied with the publication of the Conference Proceedings and are looking forward to further cooperation. The publication was very fast, easy and of high quality. My colleagues and I strongly recommend EPJ Web of Conferences to anyone, who is interested in quick high-quality publication of conference proceedings.

On behalf of the Organizing and Program Committees and Editorial Team of MNPS-2019, Dr. Alexey B. Nadykto, Moscow State Technological University “STANKIN”, Moscow, Russia. EPJ Web of Conferences vol. 224 (2019)

ISSN: 2100-014X (Electronic Edition)

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