European Bioplastics (EUBP), the association for the bioplastics industry in Europe, said said that revised legislative package on waste acknowledges that bioplastics play a key role in achieving EU recycling goals.

The association said the provisional deals signed by the European Council and Parliament on the EU waste legislative package published by the Commission in 2015, recognise the benefits of bioplastics. 

The revised legislative package on waste includes the Waste Framework Directive as well as the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.

The new legislation has recognized that bio-based feedstock for plastic packaging as well as compostable plastics for separate bio-waste collection contribute to more efficient waste management in addition to helping in reducing the impacts of plastic packaging on the environment.

EUBP chairman François de Bie said: “Bioplastics are recognized for their circular nature. Both directives emphasize the potential of bio-based mechanically recyclable and bio-based compostable plastic packaging to foster a European circular economy.

“Substituting fossil-based feedstock with renewable resources is a key transition that is supported by this new legislation.”

The revised Waste Framework Directive allows recycling of collected biodegradable and compostable packaging together with the bio-waste, in industrial composting and anaerobic digestion.

By 2023, the separate collection of biowaste is mandated throughout Europe.  

The revised Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive emphasizes that bio-based plastics help in reducing environmental impacts of plastic packaging as well as reduce Europe’s dependence on imported raw materials.

Welcoming the Europe’s new bioplastic legislation, Biome Bioplastics, a UK developer of intelligent, natural plastics, has called on the UK Government to follow Europe’s lead in tackling the plastic waste problem.

Biome Bioplastics CEO Paul Mines said: “It’s now time for the UK Government to follow Europe’s lead in tackling the plastic waste problem by acknowledging how bioplastic materials can replace petroleum-based plastics, given bioplastics can be recycled and composted without the carbon footprint and with less material impact on the environment.

“Britain has a vibrant industrial biotechnology sector but further government support, particularly in collaborative research, can accelerate the industry on the global stage. It is also vital to ensure that regulation will support and not hinder smart technological solutions.”

Image: A compostable bio-waste bag. Photo: (c) European Bioplastics, 2018.