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19 January 2018

European Commission publishes new strategy on plastic production and pollution

The European Commission presented on the 16th January 2017 a strategy on how the EU intends to approach plastic production and pollution over the next decade and beyond.

According to its new Plastics Strategy, the EU executive will work to ensure that all plastic packaging placed on the internal market is either reusable or easily recyclable by 2030. By the same year, the Commission hopes that more than a half of all plastic waste will be recycled, thanks to new effective waste collection programmes.

The strategy also recognizes the vital role of taxation and public procurement in supporting transition and steering investments. It affirms The European Commission will work to integrate recycled content in Green Public Procurement criteria.

For more information read the Plastic Strategy or visit EURACTIV.com article.

10 January 2018

New article sheds light on issues around bioplastics and their sustainability

A recent article has been issued focusing on issues around the real environmental impacts and life cycle of bioplastics. The article in fact considers bioplastics’ biodegradability, the side effects of bioplastics’ production, such as land use, and highlights other problems such as the materials’ discard and dismantle. The article also presents a few new types of biodegradable bioplastics being at the moment studied and developed.

Considering the estimated 9 million tons of trash entering the oceans every year, some argue bioplastics are to be considered a solution to plastic pollution. The often-cited advantages of bioplastics are reduced use of fossil fuel resources, a smaller carbon footprint, and faster decomposition.

However, the article stresses the importance of considering the materials’ life cycle. Bioplastics, in fact, can result in greater amounts of pollutants, due to the fertilizers and pesticides used for their production, can contribute more to ozone depletion and require extensive land use. Not only, but in order to biodegrade bioplastics, high temperature industrial composting facilities are required and not all cities have the infrastructure to deal with this.

The study concludes by mentioning a few new types of bioplastics under study, such as biodegradable bioplastic deriving from wastewater and solid waste and biodegradable bioplastics produced from organic waste such as food waste and crop residue.

To read the article, visit here. For further information on bio-based products and their sustainability, as well as on biodegradability check the InnProBio factsheets.