Is there a certain percentage threshold value that marks the minimal bio-based carbon content / bio-based mass content in a product/material to be called bioplastics?
There is no common agreement on a minimal value yet due to varying regional regulations in Europe. In Japan an industry-wide commitment sets the “biomass margin” at “25 percent renewable material”. According to the USDA Bio-preferred Programme, “the minimum share of renewable material ranges from 7 to 95 percent” depending on defined product category rules.
Although there is no minimum value, acknowledged labelling options for bio-based plastics are available to clearly and transparently indicate the bio-based content of a material or product. The certifiers TÜV AUSTRIA Belgium and DIN CERTCO offer a progressive certification scheme and according labels based on the European standard EN 16640 or ISO 16620-2 (or ASTM D 6866), which provide proof the bio-based carbon content of a material or product.
Figure: Labels depicting the bio-based content of a bioplastic product.