Together with The University of Sheffield academics, and Green Rose Chemistry, BBIA has been awarded funding to scope out a UK wide science and regulatory network to help speed up the switch to a bio-based economy

Our Bio-based and Biodegradable Regulatory Network (BB-REG-NET) aims to understand barriers to commercialisation of these materials, and ultimately by how adopting them, we can significantly reduce our reliance on fossil resources.

BB-REG-NET will bring together industrialists, academics, policy makers, government officials, retailers, consumers and funding bodies to address major challenges slowing down the development of bio-based and biodegradable plastics and chemicals.

The network will address specific challenge areas, including:

  • Regulation: Current regulations favour fossil-based incumbents, slowing market entry of bio-based materials. Legislative hurdles to assess include, REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals), Plastics Packaging Tax, and waste management and classification
  • Standards, certification, and labelling: Standards for environmental analysis and end-of-life labelling for bio-based and biodegradable materials are inadequate and misleading. Labelling schemes and advertising are inconsistent and confusing for consumers.
  • Communication: Communication about bio-based materials is challenging, with terms such as “biodegradable” often being misused, leading to greenwashing. Clear, standardised terminology is needed
  • Policy: There is a disconnect between policies across the UK government, hindering commercialisation of bio-based materials. Research funding priorities into bio-based and biodegradable materials do not align with the Biomass Strategy, Simpler Recycling guidance, or the EPR scheme.

To find out more contact Jen Vanderhoven: jen.vanderhoven@bbia.org.uk

Meet the BB-REG-NET Team

Dr Jen Vanderhoven

COO, BBIA

Dr Anna Zhenova

CEO, Green Rose Chemistry

Professor Rachael Rothman,

University of Sheffield

Professor Joanna Gavins

University of Sheffield