The recently published leak of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) revision proposal sent a shock wave to the affected industries within Europe and beyond. The bioplastics industry finds itself confronted with a factual ban on most compostable plastics packaging. The ban has the potential to shut down wide sections of the industry concerned in Europe. The draft Proposal also shows the European Commission’s strong reluctance to support the uptake of bio-based polymers to substitute fossil-based virgin material.  

With the industry standing at a crossroads, European Bioplastics addressed the urgency of this matter to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. Please find below the corresponding letter which was signed by European Bioplastics and leading companies from the bioplastics industry:  

Preventing a ban on compostable plastics and supporting bio-based content in the review of the PPWD 

Dear President von der Leyen,
Dear Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis,
Dear Commissioner Breton, 

We, the undersigned representatives of the bioplastics industry, are writing to raise a particular concern about the upcoming revision of the PPWD and its implications for the fast-developing bio-based and compostable packaging industry which accounts for a market worth of 51 billion Euro to the EU economy whilst employing around 150,000 people in the EU 27. 

Specifically, we ask for the proposal to: 

  • Ensure a level playing field for all existing recycling solutions, including those consisting of secondary raw materials different from the original primary raw material. 
  • Avoid any bans on solutions that can support Europe’s ability to reach higher circularity rates and therefore continue to provide bio-based compostable packaging, endorsed 28 years ago by the original Directive 94/62/EC with unrestricted access to the single market. 
  • Recognise and promote the uptake of bio-based polymers in packaging, replacing fossil-based virgin material, especially in contact-sensitive packaging, where recycled content is currently not a viable option. 
  • Consider bio-based content as equivalent contribution to recycled content targets. 

We, along with multiple businesses and governments across the world, have united behind a vision with concrete 2025 targets for a circular economy for packaging. We are fully aligned with the European Green Deal objectives to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and are committed to reaching “100% reusable, recyclable and compostable plastic packaging” by that date. To rea