26 October 2019

Biodegradable plastics – a convenient solution for failed plastic prevention policies?

Biodegradable plastics remain high on the political and public agenda. From a potential exemption as part of the REACH microplastics restriction, to media articles on biodegradable bags still capable of carrying shopping after being exposed to the natural environment for 3 years, and France’s decision to ban plastic table ware unless it is 50% bio-based and home compostable, the debate on biodegradable plastics is going strong.

The European Commission is expected to issue a framework for biodegradable and compostable plastics to outline the applications for which such plastics are considered suitable. Stakeholder workshops are being held and will contribute to define the do’s and don’ts regarding compostable and biodegradable plastics.

In order to clarify the issue, we have developed a factsheet  explaining the problem in simple terms and stressing that the guiding policy choices should always be in line with the waste hierarchy. In other words, plastics production should always be prevented, and reuse promoted before any other options.

ECOS is co-funded by the European Commission and EFTA

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