European Bioplastics (EUBP), the association representing the bioplastics industry in Europe, welcomes the new report by the World Economic Forum and Ellen MacArthur Foundation on ‘The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics’. The report provides an overarching vision of a global circular plastics economy in which bioplastics play an essential role in decoupling the economy from fossil resources and help to return nutrients to the soil.
The vision of the ‘New Plastics Economy’ aligns with the principles of the circular economy and outlines concrete steps on how plastics never become waste but, instead, re-enter the economy as valuable technical or biological nutrients. “The report demonstrates very clearly how bioplastics can help to deliver better economic and environmental outcomes by replacing fossil with bio-based feedstocks, while developing the many benefits of plastic packaging”, says Hasso von Pogrell, Managing Director of EUBP. The report acknowledges that ‘feedstock from renewable sources helps decouple plastics production from finite fossil feedstocks and reduce the greenhouse gas footprint of plastic packaging [.] and potentially act as a carbon sink throughout their life cycle.’
Furthermore, the report recognises that compostable packaging can ‘help return organic nutrients to the soil in applications that are prone to be mixed with organic contents after use’. It recommends scaling up the adoption of industrially compostable plastic packaging for targeted applications such as biowaste bags and food packaging and calls for the set-up of corresponding waste management infrastructure.
“The report provides an excellent fact-base for future discussions and a comprehensive vision on how the plastics industry can move towards a circular economy”, von Pogrell concludes.