In an article published within Food Safety Magazine, George Misko from the law firm Keller and Heckman LLP provides an introduction to and overview of biobased plastics for food and beverage packaging, including discussion of the complexities involved in their end of life treatment and of applicable safety legislation.

The article provides readers with examples of biobased packaging in popular products and clarifies the distinction between biobased plastics and bioplastics, both of which may or may not be biodegradable. While the first generation of bioplastics were made from traditional agricultural resources such as sugarcane, newer bioplastics made from other raw materials such as food byproducts and wood are now being introduced, Misko explains.

Effective recycling of biobased plastics is discussed as being a concern, since the biobased plastics need to be collected and processed separately from fossil-based plastics. Plastic packaging made from hybrid mixtures of fossil-based and biobased plastics may also be difficult to recycle or could complicate existing recycling streams. The article goes on to explain that while in general biobased plastic food contact materials (FCMs) need to adhere to the same legal requirements as fossil-based plastics, there are relevant differences between US and EU regulations.

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George Misko (February 2020). “Biobased Plastics and the Sustainability Puzzle.” Food Safety Magazine

George Misko (February 21, 2020). “Biobased Plastics and the Sustainability Puzzle.” Keller and Heckman LLP