Bioplastic, Government, Regulation

French law to strengthen bioplastics market

It was a great BIO World Congress conference last week with so much information and great meetings, that I have to now put most of my notes for the July Tecnon OrbiChem Bio-Materials newsletter. Look out for my blog posts on twitter compilations from the conference (when I get a break writing the newsletter) but for now, let me write this one about an incoming law in France that will strengthen the use of biodegradable/compostable plastic packaging starting 2017.

According to this news from the European Bioplastics, the French parliament has passed a law that will require lightweight bags for fruits and vegetables, as well as plastic packaging for commercial mailshots, to be bio-based and compostable in home composting by January 1, 2017. The minimum bio-based content and its progressive increase will be defined in a decree of the State Council, which will also define measures for consumer information about the material composition and utilization of such bags.

The French law also clearly distinguishes between bio-based, biodegradable/compostable plastics, and oxo-fragmentable plastics. The oxo-degradable plastics reportedly do not meet the European norms for compostability and can potentially hinder mechanical recycling.

According to European Bioplastics, the French institution prohibit the production, distribution, sale, provision and utilization of packaging or bags made partially or completely from oxo-fragmentable plastics, which are essentially durable, fossil-based plastics with artificial additives that cause the plastic to fragment into micro-particles.

The French bioplastics industry has reportedly invested more than EUR40 million in the last 15 years and the new law is an important step.

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.

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