Motion for a Resolution by the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

Plastic, not so fantastic: With microplastic pollution of waterways and oceans becoming an increasingly threatening health hazard, how should the EU address the problem of microplastic pollution in order to safeguard the health of its citizens?

Submitted by: Job Hans Winter van Duijn (NL), Sergej Goekjian (NL), Ginevra Luchini (IT), Amir Melfor (NL), Annabel Smith (NL), Julia Isabel de Vries (NL), Moon Wennink (NL) and Zia Glasenhart (Chairperson, AT) 

The European Youth Parliament,

  1. Taking into consideration that EU citizens have gotten used to the single-use lifestyle, 
  2. Concerned by everyday products being manufactured in industries that release a lot of microplastics which end up in water systems,
  3. Aware of the fact that wastewater treatment plants cannot remove microplastics completely,
  4. Noting with concern that yearly 145,000 tonnes of primary plastics and between 200,000 and 500,000 tonnes of secondary microplastics are produced, 
  5. Pointing out that some microplastics are produced on purpose while others emerge from daily use products, 
  6. Keeping in mind the harmful additives contained in microplastics can cause serious health hazards, such as cancer and damaged reproduction, in both animals and humans,
  7. Deeply regretting that the rapid discarding of fast fashion clothing leads to a large amount of microplastics,
  8. Expressing its concern regarding mismatched results between microplastics that are measured in the environment and the ones tested for effects in the laboratory, 
  9. Acknowledging that there is a lack of general knowledge on the topic in the general public, 
  10. Bearing in mind that due to a lack of research, the long-term effects of microplastics are not fully understood yet;
  1. Calls upon the European Commission to implement a ban on single-use plastic bags in the Directive on Single-Use Plastics
  2. Encourages Member States to raise the deposit price on plastic bottles;
  3. Requests the European Commission to amend Next Generation Europe to fiscally incentivise companies that strive to reduce microplastics during production and are upholding eco-friendly standards;
  4. Recommends Member States to subsidise further research on the innovation and implementation of wastewater treatment plant filters;
  5. Strongly urges Member States to introduce taxes on products containing an excessive amount of microplastics; 
  6. Emphasises Member States to open more refill shops1;
  7. Urges Member States to drastically lower the production of products with primary microplastics by replacing them with more sustainable materials;
  8. Requests the European Commission to amend Horizon Europe to subsidise eco-friendly clothing companies;
  9. Directs the European Research Council to further study the long-term effects of microplastics on the human body and address the current mismatch of research results when comparing laboratories and actual environments; 
  10. Calls upon the Directorate-General for Communication (DG COMM) to establish a sub-committee on campaigns discouraging the use of single-use plastics.
  1.  Shops which offer refillings for products that are for example stored in plastic boxes