The ongoing revision of the European Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste (94/62/EC) represents a concrete opportunity for the bioeconomy sector in Europe and the transition to a circular economy. Earlier in March this year, the European Parliament voted, for the first time ever, for an amendment of this directive that requires Member States to incentivise and promote the use of bio-based packaging and improve market conditions for such products.

It is now on the Representatives of the Members States in the European Council to confirm the EU’s committment to make Europe’s packaging sector more resource efficient and sustainable. Replacing finite fossil based materials with materials from renewable, bio-based sources helps sustain material supply, addresses resource scarcity, contributes to Europe’s environmental and climate ambitions, and strengthens the resilience and competitiveness of the European economy.

European Bioplastics together with the partner organisations of the Bio-based Coalition, namely The Alliance for Beverage cartons and the Environment (ACE), the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), Copa and Cogeca (European farmers and European agri-cooperatives), The European Association for Bioindustries (EuropaBio), the Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF), and the European Landowners’ Organisation (ELO), are urging the Council of the European Union to support an explicit requirement for Member States to encourage the use of bio-based materials for the manufacturing of packaging in the revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.

“This encouragement of using bio-based, renewable resource for the production of packaging solutions is a first careful step to support the material branch of the bioeconomy. Of course such deliberations need to be made based on a life-cycle-perspective and available certification for sustainable feedstock production need to be deployed. The amendment suggested by the European Parliament is a sound initiative to link bioeconomy and circular economy, and to drive resource efficiency, while leaving the realisation completely in Member State’s hands. A considerate approach guaranteeing flexibility but nevertheless securing the investments needed to produce innovative materials, to overcome barriers for their deployment and to reach economies of scale”, says Hasso von Pogrell, Managing Director of European Bioplastics.