EU report highlights importance of bioplastics in waste reduction

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags European union

EU report highlights importance of bioplastics in waste reduction
A draft report of on the revised EU waste legislation was published last week and highlights the importance bioplastics will have in reducing packaging waste in the European Union.

Bioplastics are being increasingly adopted as a more eco-friendly packaging solution for cosmetic and personal players wanting to reduce the carbon footprint of their products, but if EU regulations are tightened, such plastics could become an industry norm.

The report on the revised EU waste legislation is penned by MEP Simona Bonafè, who is investigating on behalf of the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, and serves to outline the legal measures necessary to make the shift towards a circular economy where waste is a valuable resource.

EUBP endorses reports findings

Endorsed by the European Bioplastics association (EUBP), the report also stresses the need to migrate to a low-carbon bioeconomy which makes better use of existing or overlooked resources.

“We welcome the strong and ambitious positions of Rapporteur Bonafè on encouraging better market conditions for renewable raw materials and promoting the use of bio-based materials in packaging,”​ said François de Bie, Chairman of European Bioplastics,

“This is because it sends the right signals to our industry and investors in the bioeconomy”.

Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive

The report, which focuses on the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, also asks the Commission to assess the feasibility of gradually replacing certain packaging with bio-based and/or biodegradable and compostable packaging solutions.

“We hope that this will encourage Member States to recognise the benefits of, and create a level-playing field for, bio-based and/or biodegradable products,”​ says de Bie.

The report also makes reference to amendments for the Waste Framework Directive, placing a particular emphasis on the definitions of bio-waste and recycling.

Inclusion of organic recycling

To this end, the report also endorses the inclusion of organic recycling in the definition of recycling, which would include bio-waste by considering ‘other materials with similar biodegradability and compostability properties’.

“These amendments are essential to achieve higher recycling targets by making use of the enormous but yet untapped potential of organic waste and compostable products in Europe. The largest fraction of municipal waste - up to 50% - in Europe is bio-waste, only 25% of which is currently collected and recycled,”​ said de Bie.

To this end, the report calls for a mandatory collection of bio-waste by 2020 supported by measures to increase the organic recycling of bio-waste to 65% by 2025. The proposed amendments also foresee limiting the amount of residual municipal waste landfilled to 25% by 2025 and to 5% by 2030.

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