European legislation on waste acknowledges the benefits of bioplastics

The revised legislation on waste recognizes the key role of bioplastics to reach European goal on recycling.

The European council and the parliament have taken position on the waste legislative package published by the commission in 2015 by recognising the benefits of bioplastics. Indeed, this new legislation acknowledges their benefits, notably their efficiency when it comes to waste management and reduction of the environmental impacts of plastic packaging. The revision of the waste framework directive and the packaging and packaging waste directive were included in this legislative package.

Legislation supporting the growth of bioplastics

Bioplastics are recognised for their circular nature. Both directives emphasise the potential of bio-based mechanically recyclable and bio-based compostable plastic packaging to foster a European circular economy”, says François de Bie, Chairman of European Bioplastics (EUBP), the association for the bioplastics industry in Europe, and adds: “Substituting fossil-based feedstock with renewable resources is a key transition that is supported by this new legislation.”

The revised waste framework directive allows a single collect of biodegradable and compostable packaging and biowaste. They can be then, recycled in industrial composting or in anaerobic digestion. Already implemented in several state members, this action which has proven efficient will be mandatory by 2023 in Europe. Biodegradable plastics allow to collect numerous biowaste et contribute to reach the new European goals on recycling.

The packaging and packaging waste directive highlights the benefits of using bioplastics to minimise environmental impacts of plastic packaging. Today, make more sustainable packaging can be possible by the use of bio-based materials and also by recyclable materials. Although state members are encouraged to promote the use of biobased and recyclable packaging and compostable packaging, European legislators haven’t yet taken the opportunity to introduce concrete measures stimulating their use and improving market conditions for such products.

Restriction of the use of oxo-degradable materials

In the accepted text from the European council and parliament, a clear distinction has been made between biodegradable and compostable plastics and oxo-degradable plastics, the last one should not be considered biodegradable. This position was integrated in the publication of the European strategy on Plastics, which aim to limit the use of oxo-degradable solutions.

Source: European Bioplastics