29 October 2019

Discover our work – Spotlight on biodegradable plastics

Biodegradable plastics are often seen as improved versions of regular plastics. There is a certain comfort in thinking that our plastic products could disappear completely, as if they had never existed. However, the reality is very different. Biodegradable plastics are not an alternative to regular plastics. It is important to keep in mind that biodegradability is only an end-of-life management option. Prevention of plastic production and use, but also reuse, rank higher in the waste hierarchy and are simply a better choice.

Biodegradable plastic is… plastic !
Most biodegradable plastics are synthesised from fossil resources, exactly as “regular” plastics are. The difference between the two is the expected end-of-life treatment : recycling for traditional plastics and composting or biodegradation in specific conditions for so-called biodegradable plastics. Both types of plastic can contribute to environmental pollution.

ECOS works to make sure policy makers and the wider public take action to reduce overall amounts of plastics and do not seek to substitute them with biodegradable options.

Would you like to know more about this topic? Download our factsheet!

ECOS is co-funded by the European Commission and EFTA

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