Bio-based plastics have the same properties as conventional plastics but also feature the unique advantage to reduce the dependency on limited fossil resources and to potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Consequently, bio-based plastics can help to decouple economic growth from the resource depletion and help the EU to meet its 2020 targets of greenhouse gas emissions reduction. Moreover, bioplastics can make a considerable contribution to increased resource efficiency through a closed resource cycle and use cascades, especially if bio-based materials and products are being either reused or recycled and eventually used for energy recovery (i.e. renewable energy).
When it comes to sustainability, according to a study by the German Environment Agency “bioplastics are at least as good as conventional plastics”. The study also mentions that “considerable potential is yet untapped” (ifeu/GEA, 2012).