Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Surveillance of dangerous products and plastic bags' use

In its fight to increase product safety in the EU the European Commission published a yearly overview showing that ca 2500 products have been stopped from entering the EU market or removed from it in 2014 ("2014 Keeping European Consumers Safe"). In 2014 toys (28%) and textile and clothing products (23%) dominated among the products against which safety measures were taken. The predominant risks notified as associated with these products were these of injury, chemical risks and choking. Unfortunately, China remains the number one offender, despite increased cooperation between the European and Chinese authorities in this area (Keeping consumers safe: nearly 2500 dangerous products withdrawn from the EU market in 2014).

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Aside protecting consumers from dangerous products, the EU intends to protect the environment from some dubious consumer products, such as plastic bags. European consumers on average throw out ca 200 plastic bags a year and the particles in these bags may enter water or even the food cycle. If the Parliament votes for the proposal on this new law EU countries would either need to bring down the number of lightweight plastic bags used by a person to 90 bags pp per year (until 2019; in 2025 - 40 bags) or prohibit these bags from being given away for free (until 2018). (EU restricts the use of plastic bags to protect the environment)

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