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  • November 29, 2022
  • Ecos

EU biobased-biodegradable & compostable plastics framework: why do we need one?

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On 30 November, the European Commission will publish non-binding guidelines on bio-plastics as part of its Circular Economy Action Plan. Will they be an essential step towards better use of such materials?

This week, the European Commission is expected to publish a set of non-binding guidelines about how the market should use bio-based, biodegradable, and compostable plastics.  

 First of all, let’s be clear: ‘bio-plastic’ is still… plastic. Bio-based plastics are simply sourced from biological resources rather than fossil material. Biodegradable plastic is most often fossil-based and relies on virgin materials. Even when designed to be biodegradable, these plastics often include the same toxic chemicals as conventional non-biobased and non-biodegradable plastic.  

Unnecessary plastics, especially short-lived single-use items, must be eliminated. As for the remaining plastics, careful consideration is required to ensure they contribute to a circular plastics economy. Bio-based, biodegradable, and compostable plastics should be used for niche applications only – and have an extremely limited role in the economy.  



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