The European Commission recently banned the use of intentionally added microplastic particles to consumer or professional use products of any kind across the European Union under the REACH Regulation (Annex XVII Restriction on microplastics in the EU). Manufacturers of plastics and downstream users of plastics need to take note as further restrictions are on the way. Also, increasing requirements to disclose on corporate sustainability have caught out some major brands who have failed to transition away from plastics in their supply chains.
This event will give insights into the requirements of the EU restriction on microplastics and their implications for sectors such as food, cosmetics, personal care products, and identify significant derogations such as food additives.
Microplastics are small pieces of plastic, typically smaller than 5mm, composed of polymers and are associated with more than 13,000 chemicals of potential concern to human health and the environment due to their hazardous properties. In addition to consumer products, plastics are widely used in packaging, building and construction, automotive and transportation, electrical, and many more products. The scale of the issue is vast - in 2017 the annual global primary plastic production was 438 million tonnes, of which 27 million tonnes (6%) were additives, and primary plastic production is projected to reach 1.1. billion tonnes in 2050, if the current trend continues.
Plastics, then microplastics, have the potential to end up in the environment (estimated to be 42,000 tonnes of microplastics in the EU) with a lasting legacy for nature and our food and drinking water. In fact, they have been found everywhere that researchers have looked from the deep-sea Mariana Trench to Mount Everest’s summit. Microplastics have also been reported to be present in human lung, maternal and foetal tissue, human breast milk and human blood.
Ramboll’s senior toxicologists will describe the impact of new and upcoming regulations. Dr Meera Cush will present an update on the human health effects associated with microplastics and Samantha Deacon will focus on the consequence for the environment.
Ramboll is a global environment and health consulting, engineering, and architecture business with more than 17,500 employees in over 35 countries worldwide. As The Partner for Sustainable Change, they enable their clients and partners to realise their goals and navigate the transition to a more sustainable future.
Meet our speakers:
- Dr Meera Cush is a senior toxicologist who holds EUROTOX and UK Registered Toxicologist accreditation together with a Chartered Biologist status. With over 20 years in the field of toxicology, Meera has a wealth of experience in the risk assessment of chemicals found in food, environment and of consumer products. Meera leads the UK Health Sciences Team at Ramboll and is an Expert Member of the Committee on Carcinogenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COC) advising the UK government and agencies on whether substances are likely to cause cancer. Meera also advises the UK HSE’s REACH Independent Scientific Expert Pool (RISEP) and is an assessor for the Royal Society of Biology Chartered Biologist (CBiol) accreditation programme.
- Samantha Deacon is a senior biologist and ecotoxicologist with 30 years experience in consulting, regulation and research. Samantha is Global Lead for Biodiversity and Ecosystems for Ramboll developing the company’s strategic ambitions for more than 300 dedicated ecologists, ecotoxicologists, conservation biologists, marine biologists, and environmental economists.
• Members - £10
• Non-members - £20
• Students - £5
*We are unable to provide refunds within 5 working days of the event.
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