What is biodegradation?2017-06-19T14:50:21+02:00

Biodegradation is a chemical process in which materials are metabolised to CO2, water, and biomass with the help of microorganisms. The process of biodegradation depends on the conditions (e.g. location, temperature, humidity, presence of microorganisms, etc.) of the specific environment (industrial composting plant, garden compost, soil, water, etc.) and on the material or application itself. Consequently, the process and its outcome can vary considerably.

Related links:

biodegradable plastics

Are any contaminants or harmful substances left behind when compostable plastics biodegrade?2017-06-19T14:18:25+02:00

Compostable plastics that are tested and certified according to the European standard for industrial composting EN 13432 are required to disintegrate after 12 weeks and completely biodegrade after six months. That means that 90 percent or more of the plastic material will have been converted to CO2. The remaining share is converted into water and biomass, which no longer contains any plastic. EN 13432 also includes test on ecotoxicity and heavy metal contents to ensure that no harmful substances are left behind.

How can I become a member of EUBP and what are the benefits of a membership?2018-07-19T15:01:08+02:00

Companies already involved in the bioplastics business sector but not yet a member of European Bioplastics should consider the advantages of connecting to our information and business platform and enlarging their network. Newcomers to our industry and/or the European market in particular can rely on European Bioplastics to help them get a foothold in the sector and benefit from our broad knowledge and contact database.

A membership offers access to a multitude of networking opportunities, visibility through representation across the field, business enhancement opportunities and support, access to comprehensive information resources, annual meetings and conference discounts.

The services available exclusively to members of European Bioplastics, include (but are not limited to):

  • A ‘members only’ knowledge database including reports, political communiqués and financial programmes;
  • Public relations and marketing measures and activities that increase awareness for bioplastics and our members’ brands and products;
  • Participation in association meetings and the opportunity to propose points of action for adoption;
  • Matchmaking/consulting services through European Bioplastics, which create synergies between companies looking for specific services within the bioplastics sector;
  • Reduced entry fees to industry events organised by European Bioplastics, and – where applicable – the opportunity to present products and network at the association’s booth.

For more details, please see the membership benefits leaflet or our statutes and membership fee code and membership application form.

What policies would be needed to pave the way for a full-scale market introduction of bioplastics in Europe?2023-03-15T14:00:04+01:00

The European bioplastics industry has a strong record for developing innovative technological solutions and aligning industrial objectives with environmental sustainability. In order for Europe to reinforce its position as a front-runner of resource efficiency and green growth, forward-looking sectors with strong environmental credentials and growth potential, such as bioplastics, need to be promoted. 

European Bioplastics has identified a number of key issues at political and regulatory level that will need to be addressed to ensure that the bioplastics sector can unfold its full environmental, economic, and social potential in Europe. These key issues are:  

  • Guaranteeing access to competitively priced agricultural feedstock and biomass in sufficient quantities and quality, and establishing a level playing field for industrial use of biomass with an integrated EU policy approach for material and energy uses of biomass and feedstock.  
  • Providing financial and political support through supportive market mechanisms similar to the “BioPreferred programme” in the United States or national investment programmes in several countries in South-East Asia. Additionally, Europe should further encourage a market shift towards increased production and use of biobased products, in order to support and stimulate industry in Europe. This could involve incentivising the use of biobased materials or putting a price tag on fossil carbon through carbon pricing mechanisms.  
  • Raising awareness and informing consumers about the importance of a transition to a biobased circular economy and the benefits and essential role of products such as bioplastics in that shift. 

Related links:

Relevant EU policies

What regulatory framework is there for bioplastics on EU-level and what initiatives are underway?2023-03-15T14:00:55+01:00

Currently there is no EU law in place applying specifically to biobased, biodegradable and compostable plastics. Yet, the European Union has made increasing efforts to introduce or adapt policies, regulatory frameworks, and standards to strengthen and implement the bioeconomy and circular economy in Europe in recent years, all of which affect the bioplastics sector in one way or other. 

In particular, the future policy framework for biobased, biodegradable and compostable plastics, as part of the Commission’s Circular Economy Action Plan and Green Deal, is a crucial piece of legislation. It has the potential to boost the role of bioplastics in developing a truly circular bioeconomy, enabling innovation, and attracting new investments. Currently, there is no legislation in place at EU level specifically designed for our industry. Hence, the implications of the new policy framework for the bioplastics sector will be extremely important. 

European top-level strategies supporting bioplastics: 

  • EU Bioeconomy Strategy (2018)  
  • EU Plastics Strategy (2018)  
  • EU Green Deal (2019)  
  • New EU Circular Economy Action Plan (2020)  
  • EU Climate Law (2021) & EU Taxonomy (2020)