November 2015

Simon Hann to Speak at Microplastic in the Environment Event

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Life Cycle Assessment Specialist Simon Hann will be speaking at the Microplastic in the Environment conference in Germany on 23rd November on the scale of microplastic emissions in Europe.

Microplastics are plastic particles with a diameter less than 5mm. Some products contain microscopic sizes plastic particles produced in microscopic sizes, for example granulates and microbeads in cosmetics. However, they can also be produced as secondary fragments as larger pieces of plastic break up in the environment, or as the result of fibres being washed out of textiles.

Simon Hann will be discussing the scale of microplastic emissions across the EU, following on from research Eunomia has conducted on behalf of DG Environment to quantify the microplastic emissions from the European cosmetics industry. Through this research Eunomia found that cosmetics account for between 3-4% of all microplastic emissions, which equates to around 33 billion particles per year. This would be enough to make close to 370 million bottles but is instead wasted and poses a risk to marine wildlife.

The rest of the event will look at the impacts of microplastics in the environment and discuss the potential solutions such as prevention, recycling and substitution with biodegradable plastics and other materials.

More information on the event can be found here