*European Bioplastics – the European bioplastics industry’s association – supports the the German Packaging Directive amendment passed on 4 April 2008. The directive includes new regulation for bioplastic bottles which will come into effect on 1 January 2009. *
Bioplastics is the term used for plastics produced from renewable resources or that are certified compostable to European standards. The bottles must be produced from at least 75% renewable resources and will be exempted from the compulsory deposit for single use drink bottles until 31 December 2012. Manufacturers must however participate in a dual system of recycling for the bottles.
Bioplastics currently have a market share of less than 1% of the total plastics market, but the annual growth rate is however 20-30%. “Through this regulation, the Federal Government is encouraging the use of renewable resources in beverages packaging and therewith a substantial innovation from the plastics industry”, stated European Bioplastics Chairman Dr Harald Kaeb.
During the introductory phase, collection and recycling is proposed via the dual system, that is, using the yellow recycling sack/bin. Jöran Reske, European Bioplastics Vice-Spokesperson and responsible for environmental issues, commented, “This will mean the bottles will generally be fed into energy recovery, and based on the fact that they were created from renewable resources, will contribute to a reduction in CO2 emissions”.
Approximately a dozen beverages are currently sold in bioplastic bottles worldwide. In order to handle rapidly growing demand, several companies from the bioplastics industry are at the point of making substantial investments into larger production plants.
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