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Executive Summary: Brigid

In a world where plastic is the third most abundant manufactured material and the global annual plastic production hits a staggering 359 million tonnes, the prevalence of this material unveils a pertinent topic—microplastics (MPs). These are particles measuring less than 5mm, formed through the degradation of plastics. The presence of plastic in the environment has been associated with measurable MP presence across the globe, leading to unintentional biota and human exposure. Although significant concerns and speculations continue to surround these substances, there is currently no clear evidence of any adverse health effects of MPs exposure, and many knowledge gaps continue to exist.

Plastics Europe, in a bid to fill these knowledge gaps with high-quality scientific data, launched Brigid, a multimillion-euro, five-year (2022-2026) scientific research project focused on microplastics and human health, embarking on an innovative journey. This project aims to evaluate the potential risks of MPs exposure via ingestion, which is considered, along with inhalation, as one of the most hypothesised routes of exposure.

Brigid emerges as the plastics industry’s massive effort towards understanding potential human health risks of MPs exposure and needs to be considered only as the initial step of a longer journey rather than a sole unique exercise.

Beyond being a scientific research project, Brigid showcases the EU plastics manufacturers’ commitment to the EU’s safety, sustainability, and circularity goals.

To delve deeper into Brigid’s objectives, structure and deliverables, you can explore the Brigid Project Executive Summary here.