Biodegradable and Compostable Plastic Products

​​Stop Using Disposable Non-Degradable Plastics!

Nov 29 , 2021
Single-use plastics are still available on European markets, despite the recent adoption by the European Union of a directive aiming at banning them on its territory. Why is this major environmental progress not fully implemented by Member-States and companies?

A European campaign against single-use plastics

Did you know that single-use plastics are one of the main types of waste found on our beaches and in the Ocean? In view of this situation, the European Union (EU) adopted, in 2019, a directive aimed at banning certain single-use plastic products throughout its territory. Having a law is fine, but is it really being put into practice?

According to the SUP Directive, biodegradable/bio-based plastics are considered plastics. At present, there is no widely agreed technical standard to prove that certain plastic products are suitable for biodegradation in the marine environment in a short period of time without causing damage to the environment.

As this is a rapidly evolving field, the review of the directive in 2027 will include an assessment of scientific and technological progress regarding biodegradation standards applicable to the marine environment of disposable plastic products. The committee plans to formulate a policy framework for the use of biodegradable or degradable plastics in 2022, based on the assessment of the potential benefits of such plastics to the environment and the standards for the application of such plastics.

An alarming initial assessment

It would seem that many single-use plastic products are still on sale in Europe. The Single-Use Rebellion campaign has therefore decided to call on citizens, companies and decision-makers to push for the implementation of the Single-Use Directive in European countries. 

Amongst the single-use plastics reported as being still available figure disposable cutlery, straws, plates and snack boxes made of expanded polystyrene. These are a real scourge for the environment and for the Ocean, and it is urgent to eliminate them.

Why are there still so many single-use plastics covered by the Directive available in the European Union?

Despite European standards and their translation into national legislation, many companies still sell single-use plastics in stores and online, which is of course harmful to the ocean. Many European countries have yet to finally incorporate single-use directives into national laws. In these countries, many companies-realizing that have not been forced to comply with the directive continues to sell plastics banned by the European Union.

Even in countries where the directive has been transferred at the national level, such as France, companies are using various technologies to continue selling these plastics. In particular, the words "reusable" have begun to appear on the packaging of various products, even if these are appliances that are unlikely to be cleaned and reused many times. The number of disposable bioplastics (bio-derived or biodegradable) that are said to be less harmful to the environment has also increased. However, European directives also prohibit the use of such bioplastic tableware, straws and plates. These plastics are usually claimed to be compostable or biodegradable, but in fact, many black heart manufacturers add non-degradable additives to make it impossible to obtain the composting process.

It is crucial that European companies begin now to reduce single-use plastics. Here are some examples of actions :

  • Stop single-use plastics!
  • Stop selling single-use plastics,
  • Selling sustainable, zero-waste alternatives,
  • Developing reusable products, by implementing some waste deposit systems.
  • Choosing the path of a sustainable future, and not waiting the last moment to participate in the transition towards a zero-waste lifestyle. 

It is therefore time to put into place some real, concrete actions. As biodegradable product manufacturers, must assume their responsibility and propose sustainable solutions. 

biodegradable material

Ecology should not be a marketing tool to reassure consumers and sell more products. Really limiting the impact on the environment should be an integral part of the company's values. Manufacturers can do many things to limit plastic pollution: rethink the design, production methods, and distribution of their products to reduce the use of plastics throughout the value chain, produce disposable plastic products with biodegradable and sustainable raw materials, and eliminate excessive Use packaging and disposable plastic products.

To learn more about bioplastic, visit our website.
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