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What can politics achieve to assist market introduction and technology development?

In contrast to the areas of biofuels and renewable energies, there is currently no EU-wide framework for action to support the material use of renewable raw materials. The development of an integrated concept to coordinate both the material and the energetic use of renewable resources should be the highest priority. In consequence, intelligent use cascades must be developed to promote the most efficient use of resources. Use cascades increase value creation and simultaneously improve the economy and ecology of the products. Without sufficient economic and technological value creation, Europe will have difficulty in competing globally.

Political measures

Industrial composting (organic recycling) schemes should be developed and implemented across the EU. Wherever there is an industrial composting infrastructure established in Europe, EN certified compostable plastic products should be allowed to enter that infrastructure (legislation must be adapted accordingly). Organic recycling represents a key step for compostable bioplastics and offers a wealth of benefits for short-life products. Appropriate political measures should be implemented during the market introduction. A positive example is the regulations in the German Packaging Directive, which cover packaging made from bioplastics.

The competitiveness of bioplastics has greatly improved in the past few years. This is not only due to the fact that conventional plastics have become expensive. The technical properties or simplified recovery following consumption can also represent an economic advantage. Most products remain more expensive than crude oil based plastics which have been on the market for many years. Bioplastics are currently produced mainly in small production plants (total production capacity over 400,000 t worldwide). Their development costs are high and they do not yet have the benefit of "economies of scale".

Framework conditions – both legal and market – play a significant role in this market introduction phase. Unlike the areas of renewable energy and biofuels, there is no positive framework conditions. In individual EU countries the first initiatives are emerging to facilitate the introduction of bioplastics. The fact that the risk of climate change is becoming increasingly apparent, the difficulty of guaranteeing supply, together with price developments in fossil raw materials all represent serious reasons to promote sustainable technologies. For the EU, with its limited crude oil and natural gas resources, the increased utilisation of biomass as both an energy source and a raw material will be indispensable in the long term. Bioplastics have a great future ahead of them. The sooner it begins, the better.

What can politics achieve to assist market introduction and technology development?

In contrast to the areas of biofuels and renewable energies, there is currently no EU-wide framework for action to support the material use of renewable raw materials. The development of an integrated concept to coordinate both the material and the energetic use of renewable resources should be the highest priority. In consequence, intelligent use cascades must be developed to promote the most efficient use of resources. Use cascades increase value creation and simultaneously improve the economy and ecology of the products. Without sufficient economic and technological value creation, Europe will have difficulty in competing globally.

Political measures

Industrial composting (organic recycling) schemes should be developed and implemented across the EU. Wherever there is an industrial composting infrastructure established in Europe, EN certified compostable plastic products should be allowed to enter that infrastructure (legislation must be adapted accordingly). Organic recycling represents a key step for compostable bioplastics and offers a wealth of benefits for short-life products.

Appropriate political measures should be implemented during the market introduction. A positive example is the regulations in the German Packaging Directive, which cover packaging made from

bioplastics.

 

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