EUROPE – While applauding the move by the European Commission to adopt a proposal to reduce the use of plastic carrier bags with a thickness of less than 50 microns, industry association European Bioplastics says bioplastic shopping bags should be exempt from any follow-up legislation by Member States.
“Today’s proposal of the European Commission aiming to reduce the consumption of plastic carrier bags in the EU is an important first step in the direction of a more sustainable economy“, says François de Bie, Chairman of European Bioplastics.
Keeping in mind the guiding principles of a circular economy and increased resource efficiency, the initiative should also be the opportunity for legislators to promote biobased products, such as bioplastics, said the European Bioplastics, adding that the measures brought forward to reduce the consumption of plastic bags should also allow for flexibility in Member States when dealing with bioplastic shopping bags.
Exempting bioplastics, due to their environmental performance, from any measures intended to reduce the consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags should be considered, said the association. Instead, there should be specific promoting measures for bioplastic alternatives.
“Under this Directive, the Italian plastic bag law would be finally validated. This law banned fossil-based lightweight plastic carrier bags, and allows only single use bags that are compostable according to EN 13432 to be utilised” adds de Bie.
European Bioplastics is also calling for the exemption of biobased, non-biodegradable shopping bags, that contain at least 50% biobased content, from restricting market regulations, saying that promoting measures for bioplastic alternatives would address environmental issue and drive building a biobased economy at the same time.
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