Industry set to engage with political stakeholders on upcoming legislation
These included in particular the Commission’s first policy framework on innovative bioplastic materials as well as the proposal for a Regulation on Packaging and Packaging Waste (PPWR). Both experts and policymakers agreed that the regulatory environment for bioplastics requires a continuous close cooperation between industry and politics.
Leadership role of the EUIn his opening remarks, Stefan Barot, chairman of European Bioplastics (EUBP), emphasised the leadership role of the European Union in addressing the existing environmental challenges. He focused on the EU’s promotion of a circular economy to achieve European climate neutrality by 2050 and the contribution bioplastics can make to achieve this goal. “Bioplastics with their beginning of life and end of life advantages and their special material properties have a lot to offer. The same goes for the industry, an important player in the technical and political debate. However, to use its full potential to support the EU climate objectives and to foster innovation, our industry needs a future-oriented, clear, and transparent economic and regulatory environment.” The varied conference programme, which examined key issues along the bioplastics value chain, strongly reinforced his statement. In ten different sessions, over 40 speakers and moderators focused on the contribution that biobased and biodegradable and compostable plastics can make to achieve a circular economy.
The conference sessions, amongst other topics, highlighted best practices in food waste collection, showed new directions in bioplastic innovation, and gave a global perspective on standardisation. The policy panel further elaborated on the role of especially compostable plastics in the circular economy. Industry and policymakers agreed on the necessity to work closely together in order to establish an adequate environment for bioplastics. In other sessions conference attendees also discussed end of life options of biobased and compostable plastics and their benefits. Further topics were recent advances in bioplastic packaging and innovative applications towards sustainability. New European Bioplastics market data, based on research from the nova-institute, gave a positive outlook for bioplastics production. “The global bioplastics production capacity is set to increase significantly from around 2.23 million tonnes in 2022 to 6.3 million tonnes in 2027,” said Hasso von Pogrell, managing director of EUBP.