European Bioplastics (EUBP) has welcomed the recently unveiled European Green Deal, which sets out new sweeping plans to make the region the first “climate-neutral” continent by 2050 while stipulating economic growth.
Announced by the new European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Dec. 11, the Green Deal looks to re-evaluate major aspects of the European economy, notably transport, energy, agriculture, buildings and industries such as plastics and chemicals.
As part of the deal, the Commission is set to follow up on the 2018 Plastics Strategy focusing on measures to tackle intentionally added micro plastics and unintentional releases of plastics from items such as textiles and tire abrasion.
The Commission is also to develop a mechanism to ensure that all packaging in the EU market is reusable or recyclable in an “economically viable manner” by 2030; design a regulatory framework for biodegradable and bio-based plastics; and implement measures on banning single use plastics.
The EC will also look into new legislation to set targets and measures for tackling over-packaging and waste generation.
Encouraging deeper cooperation across value chains, as in the case of the Circular Plastics Alliance, the Commission will consider legal options to boost the market of secondary raw materials with mandatory recycled content, for instance for packaging, vehicles, construction materials and batteries.
“This roadmap marks Europe’s way to become a resource-efficient and competitive economy with zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. We see our industry in a crucial role to help achieving this deal,” EUBP Chairman François de Bie said in a Dec. 13 statement.
Calling for “the creation of a strong link between bioeconomy and circular economy,” de Bie said bio-based plastics could significantly contribute to meeting environmental targets as they are sustainably sourced and can help lower greenhouse emissions by using less fossil resources.
“Mechanical or chemical recycling of those bio-based plastics further add to the reduced environmental footprint of these products. The same applies for biodegradable and compostable plastics as they increase recyclability options by adding composting and helping to create clean organic waste streams,” de Bie added.
EUBP said it would engage in constructive discussions with the related authorities to further explain the potential of bioplastics and their contribution to achieving the Green Deal.
The European Commission is now set to present, within 100 days, the first "European Climate Law."