Bioplasitcs European Commission proposes framework for biobased plastic materials
The European Commission adopted a policy framework on the sourcing, labelling and use of biobased plastics, and the use of biodegradable and compostable plastics. However, the bioplastics industry was hoping for stronger support for the use of biobased feedstock.
In the European Green Deal, circular economy action plan, and plastics strategy, the European Commission proposed new packaging rules acknowledge environmental and climate benefits of compostable plastic packaging. The Communication for an EU policy framework on biobased, biodegradable and compostable plastics is not legally binding. However, it is intended to bring clarifications on biobased, biodegradable and compostable plastics and “sets out the conditions to ensure that the overall environmental impact of their production and consumption is positive”.
European Bioplastics (EUBP) welcomed the proposed new rules. “We appreciate the Commission’s first comprehensive policy framework on innovative bioplastic materials, acknowledging their potential to provide genuine environmental benefits. EUBP in particular commends the Commission’s endorsement of the important role of compostable plastic packaging in the proposed packaging rules in reaching the ambitious waste and climate targets,” says Hasso von Pogrell, Managing Director of EUBP, “however, we would have expected stronger support for the use of biobased feedstock”. According to von Pogrell, a few persistent misconceptions remain in the Communication on the policy framework for biobased, biodegradable and compostable plastics with regards to land-use, the methods used to evaluate environmental benefits, alleged risks of cross-contamination of waste streams, as well as biodegradability in different environments. “It prevented the Commission from fully embracing the shift to biobased products that would enable Europe to reduce its dependency on fossil resources and achieve its ambitious climate and circularity goals,” he says.