EEA briefing on biodegradable and compostable plastics

European Environment Agency (EEA) publishes report providing on overview of challenges and opportunities; includes introduction to relevant terminology, implications of use, and comparison of existing certifications; calls for clearer labeling and increased campaigns to inform consumers

Calls for UK to ban oxo-degradable plastics

Industry associations and non-governmental organizations send letter to UK authorities urging ban on all oxo-degradable plastics in the country; call for UK to uphold equivalent standards to EU legislation after leaving the bloc

UNEP report assesses plastic packaging labels

Joint report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) maps and assesses global labeling schemes and claims related to recycling and disposal of plastic packaging; recommends global harmonization of definitions, better consideration of actual local conditions, restriction of chasing arrows symbol, labels being verified with enforcement of proper use

YPACK project develops antimicrobial, biodegradable packaging

Horizon 2020 EU-funded research project announces creation of compostable biopolymer packaging material able to protect against bacteria for up to 48 days, aims to increase shelf-life

Bacterium found to degrade polyurethane

Researchers from Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research identify Pseudomonas bacterium able to break down polyurethane monomer and oligomer; bacterium uses plastic as energy source to fuel process; researchers caution that industrial application still a decade away, focus should remain on preventing plastic pollution

EASAC report on plastic packaging and circular economy

European Academies’ Science Advisory Council provides seven recommendations to EU policymakers for transitioning to circular economy; include banning plastic waste exports, extending producer responsibility, ‘end misleading about bio-based alternatives’, limiting additives and resins

Nestlé launches packaging research institute

Swiss multinational food and drink company holds inauguration event for new institute to focus on food packaging research; focus to be placed on re-useable packaging, simplifying packaging design, transitioning to paper and biodegradable and compostable plastics

Environmental fate of biodegradable bags

Plastic bags labeled as ‘biodegradable’ remain intact after 3 years in marine environment, scientists report; bioplastics industry criticizes study design, interpretation