UK must follow EU lead in recognising bioplastics as vital for reducing waste

March 2018
UK must follow EU lead in recognising bioplastics as vital for reducing waste

SOUTHAMPTON – Biome Bioplastics has welcomed the European Union’s decision to change legislation to recognise the role that bioplastics can play in reducing waste and achieving recycling goals.

The EU has revised its legislation to acknowledge bio-based feedstock for plastic packaging – as well as compostable plastics for separate bio-waste collection – contribute to more efficient waste management and help to reduce the impacts of plastic packaging on the environment.

Biome Bioplastics CEO Paul Mines has called on the UK Government to also acknowledge the vital role that bioplastics can play in tackling Britain’s plastic waste problem, particularly for consumer single-use packaging.

The EU’s revised Waste Framework Directive now allows biodegradable and compostable packaging to be collected together with bio-waste and recycled in industrial composting and anaerobic digestion, which has already successfully been implemented in European several member states. By 2023, separate collection of bio-waste is set to be mandatory throughout Europe.

The Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive now acknowledges bio-based plastics help minimise the environmental impacts of plastic packaging and reduce Europe’s dependence on imported raw materials. Furthermore, the agreed text makes a clear distinction between biodegradable compostable plastics and so-called oxo-degradable plastics, which will not be considered biodegradable.

Biome Bioplastics CEO Paul Mines said:

“We welcome the European Union’s decision to change its legislation to recognise the vital role that bioplastics can play in reducing overall consumer waste and to ensure recycling targets are met.”

“Households are rightly concerned by consumer waste and they are welcoming moves to ensure less waste and greater recycling, especially after witnessing the scale of the problem worldwide through awareness-raising programs such as David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II series.

“It’s now time for the UK Government to follow Europe’s lead in tackling the plastic waste problem by acknowledging how bioplastic materials can replace petroleum-based plastics, given bioplastics can be recycled and composted without the carbon footprint and with less material impact on the environment.

“Britain has a vibrant industrial biotechnology sector but further government support, particularly in collaborative research, can accelerate the industry on the global stage. It is also vital to ensure that regulation will support and not hinder smart technological solutions.”

For the last five years, Biome Bioplastics has developed a range of biopolymers, many for single-use packaging that are based on natural and renewable resources including plant starches and tree by-products such as cellulose.

About Biome Bioplastics 

Biome Bioplastics is a leading UK developer of intelligent, natural plastics. Serving a global customer base from its headquarters in Southampton, the company’s mission is to produce bioplastics to challenge the dominance of oil-based polymers, and ultimately replace them completely.

Building on 20 years of development activity, Biome Bioplastics produces a range of high-performance, plant-based bioplastics that are 100 per cent biodegradable and compostable. Its biopolymers are suitable for both short-life and disposable products, as well as long-life, durable applications.

Biome Bioplastics developed the materials for the first biodegradable coffee pod, offering one of the only sustainable packaging alternatives in the single-serve market. Biome Bioplastics’ range can be processed on existing packaging manufacturing equipment at high speed, for the wide array of plastic processing, including injection moulding, sheet extrusion for thermoforming and vacuum forming, blown film, lamination, extrusion coating and monofilaments.