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Combatting Microplastic Pollution: CUSP’s Work Highlights the Importance of Research for Informing EU Policy

Microplastic pollution has emerged as a critical environmental challenge, with its pervasive presence threatening ecosystems and human health alike. The European Union (EU) has responded resolutely, spearheading initiatives to address this pressing issue. In a recent publication, the EU outlined comprehensive strategies and actions aimed at reducing microplastic pollution and promoting a cleaner, healthier environment.

Microplastics, tiny plastic particles ubiquitous in our environment, pose significant risks due to their persistence and mobility. They infiltrate soils, seas, and even our food and water sources, leaving no ecosystem untouched. Recognizing the urgent need for action, the EU has integrated measures to combat microplastic pollution into its ambitious policy framework, including the European Green Deal and the Circular Economy Action Plan.

One of the key components of the EU's strategy is the commitment to reduce microplastic releases by 30% by 2030. This target aligns with the broader goal of ending plastic pollution globally. Through stringent regulations and proactive measures, the EU aims to tackle both intentional and unintentional sources of microplastic pollution, including the deliberate addition of microplastics to various products and the release of particles from activities like abrasion and inadequate waste management.

As the EU forges ahead with its ambitious agenda, research plays a crucial role in informing policy and driving innovation. Initiatives like CUSP are at the forefront of this effort, conducting vital research on the presence, sources, pathways, and impacts of microplastics on human health and the environment. By generating actionable insights, such research enables policymakers to design effective interventions and safeguards for the future. Read our latest policy brief here: Micro- and Nanoplastics and Public Health: A Reasonable Concern

The EU's commitment to combatting microplastic pollution underscores the imperative of collective action in safeguarding our planet. Through robust research, informed policymaking, and sustained collaboration, we can mitigate the harmful effects of microplastics and pave the way for a cleaner, more sustainable future.

For more information on CUSP’s work and the EU's initiatives to combat microplastic pollution, visit

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