On January 19, 2017, the non-profit organization European Environmental Citizens’ Organisation for Standardisation (ECOS) announced the release of the joint position paper entitled “Bioplastics in a Circular Economy.” This joint position paper was prepared together with four other NGOs, Surfrider Foundation Europe, Friends of the Earth Europe, Zero Waste Europe, and European Environmental Bureau (EEB).
The paper examines whether bioplastics stand up to the “green-sounding” promise to solve the environmental problems created by conventional fossil-based plastics, and comes to the conclusion that “there is clear evidence that bioplastics do not solve many of these problems and in fact may create new ones.”
The NGOs point out that some bioplastics initiatives may be used as a “smokescreen” to hide the real issue at hand, which is about “the pressing need to reduce all plastic use and in particular excessive, unnecessary and single-use plastics,” conventional or bioplastics alike. The paper further suggests that, in the absence of legislations, there is a need to develop and agree on harmonizing definitions, testing standards, and labeling of bioplastics, and communication to consumers should be improved. The developed standards should be used “to support legislation and not substitute or replace the development of appropriately ambitious legislation” aimed to tackle the plastic pollution problem.
ECOS (January 19, 2017). “Joint position paper: Bioplastics in a Circular Economy.”
Chemical Watch (January 23, 2017). “NGOs demand EU action on waste in the circular economy.”
Jenny Eagle (January 27, 2017). “EEB: Labelling bioplastics ‘eco’, ‘green’ or ‘bio’ misleads consumers.” Beverage Daily
ECOS (January 19, 2017). “Joint position paper: The need to focus on waste reduction and prevention to avoid false solutions.”