The European Commission has opened a new, eight-week public comment period that is intended to generate feedback for the development of a new European Union policy framework on the use of bio-based, biodegradable and compostable plastics.
The public comment period by the European Commission's Environment services group launched Jan. 18 and continues through March 15.
Comprehensive EU legislation on bio-based, biodegradable and compostable plastics is still lacking, said Commission members. The EU does not have sustainability criteria that applies to bio-based plastics. And while there is a harmonized 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, addressing the sourcing, labelling and use of bio-based plastics, including biodegradable and compostable plastics, is essential, officials said. 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.