Bags Conference Notes Politics & Legislation

The “Bagisation” in Italy and France: a Market Engine for Bio-Based Plastics by Harald Kaeb

Bags matter because it is a huge market of more than 2 million tons in the EU. It attracts a lot of attention by the media & NGOs and a lot of interest by politicians. It is a starting point for bioplastics. Bags are not just a product but a symbol.

10th International Conference on Bio-bases Marerials – Köln, Germany- May 10-11, 2017

Bags represent two third of the market for biodegradable plastics in the EU amounting to 100,000 tons per annum in total.

Italy’s plastic bags ban may spread around Europe if there is a legal pressure from the European Commission. 2015 Revision of Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) focused on bags.

Member states can go beyond and use various additional instruments including bans. Next revision of PPWD will most likely push plastic recycling quota to 60% which is deemed the upper limit.

Italy and more recently France banned ultra- thin fossil plastic bags and mandated the use of partly bio-based compostable bags instead. Italy combined it with waste goals, improved separation and higher quality compost. This is a strong logical driver that should be understood by all member states.

The separate bio-waste collection scheme of the EC circular economy package is heading in the right direction but some member states have a long way to go to implement it.

Bags legislation is an engine for bioplastics (bio-sourced and industrially compostable) .

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