A message in the mood of time: Stop plastic! Single-use plastic has never had as bad press as it is now. Indeed, appalled by the amount of plastic waste found notably in the ocean, general public and governments have decided to stop this phenomenon.
Today, 6.5 to 8 million tons of plastic wastes are estimated to be discharged in the oceans every year. It has even been described as the 7e continent, creating a pollution as never before and jeopardizing biodiversity. According to studies, 70% of plastic wastes found in the oceans come from only a dozen single-use objects daily used.
Overview of the European initiatives
At the end of May, the European Union has announced several initiatives with the aim to reduce the usage of single-use plastic. First, objects that can be produced by more durable materials will be ban. Cotton buds, cutlery, plates, straws, cocktail stirrer and rod for balloons are concerned by this restriction. Secondly, initiatives to reduce the consumption of food containers and plastic cups for drinks will be set up by member States which will set national targets. Theses objectives could take the form of taxes or a replacement by substitute products.
Other initiatives are also mentioned by the proposal of the European commission, like reaching 90% of collecting for single-use plastic bottles before 2025 or defining adapted labelling which put forward the way of waste disposal as well as their negative impacts on the environment. Indeed, by bringing awareness to the consumers, a wake-up call and a change of behavior could happen and be a way to treat upstream the problem of single-use plastic pollution.
Single-use plastic: what about France?
In France, single-use plastic bags (Article 75 of Law n°2015-992 relative to the energy transition for a green growth) and microbeads present in rinse-off cosmetic products (Article 6 of Decree n°2017-297 since 2018) are already banned. In 2020, will be added plates, cups and glasses (Article 73 of Law n°2015-992 relative to the energy transition for a green growth) and possibly straws and expanded polystyrene containers for consumption of which the government supports the interdiction. In addition to these initiatives already implemented, the government has detailed in early July, its plan in favor of the biodiversity preservation. This strategy which articulates around 6 axes, lists 90 measures with the aim to fight against the erosion of biodiversity.
These initiatives, as those proposed by the European commission, focus on the reduction and the interdiction of some single-use plastic as well as collecting and recycling, in particular plastic bottles by setting up a deposit system. The improvement of the macrowaste and plastic particles recycling before they pollute the ocean is also investigated with the set-up of experimental devices.
What place for the bioplastics?
These new restrictions are the occasion for the biodegradable plastics to stay ahead in the market. Indeed, by proposing materials adapted to the Law implemented, the bioplastic market should keep growing.
This is the case for compostable bags. Made from biobased and compostable in domestic compost materials, they respect the norm NF T 51-800:2015 similar to the HOME COMPOST label. It defines the requirements for the replacement solutions of materials which do not meet the new laws put in place.
Bioplastics can also be alternatives to the materials used for single-use application like straws or cotton buds. Furthermore, thanks to the rapid progress of the green chemistry, the application field for these materials should expand.
About us: NaturePlast is a french company based in Normandy (IFS-14), specialized in bioplastics. With more than 10 years of experience in this field, the company has the most extensive portfolio of raw materials and biobased and/or biodegradable compounds in Europe. With its daughter company BiopolyNov, they provide support to industrialists from the origin to the industrialisation of their innovative project. Thanks to their R&D expertise acquired during the years, NaturePlast and BiopolyNov are renowned major player in the development and production of formulations for clients and collaborative projects.