The European Commission has opened a new, eight-week public consultation that is intended to generate feedback for the development of a new EU policy framework on the use of biobased, biodegradable and compostable plastics. Launched 18 January by the European Commission’s Environment services, the web-based consultation runs through 15 March.
Comprehensive EU legislation on bio-based, biodegradable and compostable plastics is still lacking, said the Commission. The EU does not have sustainability criteria that applies to bio-based plastics. And while there is a harmonised EN standard for industrially compostable packaging, there is no general standard for marine biodegradation.
To promote the transition to a circular plastics economy, a clear policy framework - a key deliverable of the European Green Deal and the Circular Economy Action Plan - addressing the sourcing, labelling and use of bio-based plastics, including biodegradable and compostable plastics is essential. Only then will it be possible to establish consistent European policies that will not only help to reduce consumer confusion but will also serve, for example, to enhance investment certainty within the internal market, and to foster innovation.
The Commission will be looking closely at where the use of bio-based feedstock yields genuine environmental benefits, as well as reducing the use of fossil resources.The present consultation will enable the views of citizens, consumers and expert stakeholders to be included in its assessment and preparation of the new policy framework.