It was already for the sixth time that the annual Bioplastics Week opened its virtual gates. During 17 and 21 August 2020, the social media campaign aimed at increasing visibility for bioplastics by driving digital conversations. The activities were coordinated by the Plastics Industry Association’s (PLASTICS) Bioplastic Division. The campaign used social media posts that featured educational materials including infographics, reports, blog posts, and videos to inform. European Bioplastics (EUBP), which supported the event as partner, provided an overview on the European perspective on the industry. The virtual audience, representatives from all stakeholder groups including policy makers and industry but also the interested public, were able to follow the digital discussion via the hashtag #BioplasticsWeek.

The program included five days full of impressive insights into the world of bioplastics. In order to create a common understanding, the first day was dedicated to defining the material. In collaboration with Re|focus and Recycling Summit, Bioplastics Week held a webinar highlighting how industry leaders are thinking about the future of the industry. The participants were able to learn the fundamentals of bioplastics and gained a basic understanding of the common terms, standards and applications. Besides hearing about original projects on feedstock production, they were also shown how innovative polymers are meeting the demands of consumers for new, sustainable products. European Bioplastics provided infographics on feedstock, how bioplastics help closing the loop, and on different bioplastics applications as well as EUBP’s animated video on bioplastics.

In the course of the week, the participants also learned about the processes, locations, and people that make the plastic come to life. Bioplastics producers were able to introduce their companies and another whole day was dedicated to talk about all the innovations the bioplastics industry is developing. A highlight during that day was the celebration of the Innovations in Bioplastics Award. This year the biotechnology company Danimer Scientific received the award for the development of the first commercially sold straws made of PHA. Another highlight was the policy day, which focused on different types of policies and programs that impact the industry. EUBP gave an overview on the current situation in the European Union talking about the European Commission’s Green Deal, the Circular Economy Action Plan and the Single-use Plastics Directive.

At the end of a very busy week, Patrick Krieger, Director of Regulatory and Technical Affairs at PLASTICS and campaign coordinator, was very pleased about the results of this year’s Bioplastics Week. Here at European Bioplastics we are already looking forward to its seventh edition next year. We would like to thank the PLASTICS team and our co-event partners for making Bioplastics Week 2020 such a success.