Microplastics are small plastic pieces less than five millimetres long. Between five and thirteen million tonnes of plastics are dumped in the sea every year.
Because of their size, microplastics are ingested by innumerable marine species, ranging from zooplankton (the basis of the food chain) to whales.
Plastic absorbs contaminants from the water surrounding it and thus acts as a vast pollution reservoir.
A study published on the Scientific Reports website analysed 17 brands of salt on sale in eight countries, namely Portugal, Australia, France, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, and South Africa; every sample was found to contain microplastics and pigments, amounting to one to ten microplastics per kilo of salt.
Microplastics have been found in fish, seafood, honey, and beer.
Is the Commission aware of this situation? What is its assessment?
Given the lack of information about the impact of microplastics on public health, what steps will it take?