European Bioplastics (EUBP) and its members welcome the Commission’s initiative to develop a first comprehensive policy framework on bioplastic materials. The Communication provides an extensive analysis of our sector in Europe and acknowledges advantages and potentials of our materials to provide genuine environmental benefits.

However, despite strong and sound scientific evidence, a few persistent misconceptions remained in the policy framework with regards to land-use, the evaluation of environmental benefits, alleged risks of cross-contamination of waste streams, and biodegradability in different environments.

The policy framework fails to recognise and promote the main advantages of biobased plastics, i.e., the use of renewable resources to produce plastic materials, and their contribution to the transition to a circular and carbon-neutral bioeconomy. The framework also presents a very limiting and overly cautious view on the special property of biodegradability in specific environments, hence neglecting the huge potential, in the case of industrially compostable plastics, for the circular economy and, generally, hampering innovation in this young and promising sector.

We fear that these flaws in the Communication will prevent the Commission from fully embracing the shift to biobased products that are necessary to enable Europe to reduce its dependency on fossil resources and achieve its ambitious climate and circularity goals. We are also concerned that the current approach will stifle rather than stimulate further innovation and market potential of sustainable material solutions in Europe.

Find out more about the benefits of bioplastics and some of the shortcomings of the Commission’s Communication on our website or this document.