Policy and Reports

Since its foundation in 2015, the BBIA has been working to modernise UK Government policy towards recognising the importance of the bioeconomy as an instrument to creating new industries at the forefront of environmental sustainability. With our widely available feedstocks from agricultural sources, both with dedicated crops and wastes; world leading research and Universities; access to financial markets; and a legal system that is the envy of many, the UK is uniquely poised to take advantage of the development of industrial biotechnologies to create new materials and products. These can substitute in part materials and products made with fossil fuels, therefore giving climate benefits both in the production phases and in end of life scenarios, as well as avoiding imports and creating employment here in the UK.

Technology allows us today to: take starches and sugars to make compostable plastics; to grow sugars to make biolubricants for machinery and engines; to package products requiring thermal insulation (medicines, foodstuffs) with wool rather than synthetic materials that cannot be recycled; and to use those same feedstocks for cosmetics, surfactants, in the pharma industry and in industrial uses where bio-based chemicals can be the building blocks of modern chemistry.

The 2018 publication of the UK Bioeconomy Strategy, which you can find below, recognises the potential of the sector. The role of the BBIA, through its reports and responses to government consultations, is to transform that potential into reality.

In this section of the website, policy documents issued by BBIA and others can be found alongside the many reports and studies issued by third parties that we believe are relevant to the bioeconomy.

US rules PET plastic production as a health risk

US EPA rules that PET poses health risk

The United States EPA has now ruled that the production of PET poses a health risk both to workers and to the surrounding community, including through pollution of water courses. This ruling creates a serious dilemma for the plastics industry as it will certainly now face considerable legal challenges to existing production sites and new ones planned.

Call for submissions: Voluntary Code of Conduct on the sustainable use of plastics in agriculture

BBIA response to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations call for submissions to guide development of a Voluntary Code of Conduct on the sustainable use of plastics in agriculture.

Towards Ending Plastic Pollution by 2040

Systemiq report on resolving the plastic waste crisis

Systemiq has published another report, in time for the UN negotiations on the Plastic Treaty and the UN Climate Week in New York last month, on how to affront and resolve the plastic waste crisis.

UK Government Biomass Strategy Analysis for BBIA Members

BBIA publishes critique of Biomass Strategy

BBIA has published a critique of the Biomass Strategy which we have posted on our website here.

Houses of Parliament waste and resource enquiry Aug 2023

BBIA publishes responses to Call for Evidence on resource and waste policy reforms

BBIA has published its responses to the Call for Evidence launched by the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee into DEFRA meeting its targets for resource and waste policy reforms, including EPR.

Study finds paper straws contain PFAS

Paper straws found to contain PFAS

So-called eco-friendly paper straws may not be so friendly after all. A report finds that they often contain PFAS known as forever chemicals because of their toxic persistence in the environment.

How the ‘circular economy’ went from environmentalist dream to marketing buzzword

How the ‘circular economy’ went from environmentalist dream to marketing buzzword

A critique of the circular economy, and how it has become a marketing tool rather than a real instrument of ecological change, is published in this American review.

“The US Needs To Lean Into An Old Strength”: Maintaining Progress And Growing US Biomanufacturing

“The US Needs To Lean Into An Old Strength”: Maintaining Progress And Growing US Biomanufacturing

An analysis of the US policies which are ‘driving the bioeconomy forward’ is made in this interesting interview /article which should be a guide also for policymakers in the UK struggling to create a coherent focus on the UK bioeconomy.

A Comprehensive Look at Compostable Plastics

A Comprehensive Look at Compostable Plastics

plants and their results are published here. They are extremely important because they show, in several geographies and in differing types of composting technologies, that their PLA yoghurt pots fully biodegrade in very short times and leave zero residues or microplastics. Thus another myth that bioplastics do not biodegrade, is busted.

Plastic mulching, and occurrence, incorporation, degradation, and impacts of polyethylene microplastics in agroecosystems

Plastic mulching, and occurrence, incorporation, degradation, and impacts of polyethylene microplastics in agroecosystems

A Chinese review of the scientific evidence illustrating the levels of microplastic pollution of soils has been published this summer and it makes interesting reading, both for those claiming that the use of plastics in agriculture is not a problem (spoiler alert, it is) and for those of us, like BBIA members, who propose benign alternatives. It adds another piece of evidence to the many that show the worrying scale of soil pollution from plastics and the damage this creates to ecosystems.

The lesser of two evils: Enhancing biodegradable bioplastics use to fight plastic pollution requires policy makers interventions in Europe

A peer-reviewed paper on why bioplastics should be the preferred choice of policymakers trying to resolve issues of plastics pollution has been published here. It makes the case that bioplastics, while not perfect, offer immediate solutions in many applications which help reduce plastic waste and therefore should be a priority for policymakers.

Report claims “mismanaged” short life plastic waste in UK estimated to total over 250,000 tonnes

Report claims ‘mismanaged’ short life plastic waste in UK estimated to total over 250,000 tonnes

A research study undertaken by the pressure group Earth Actions claims that around 250,000 tons of plastics waste are mismanaged in the UK annually by which they mean plastic waste is not correctly processed or is exported.

Roadmap for sustainable polymers in liquid formulations

Roadmap for sustainable polymers in liquid formulations

The Royal Society of Chemistry has released its 2040 roadmap for sustainable polymers in liquid formulations.

European Green Deal: more sustainable use of plant and soil natural resources front cover

European Green Deal: more sustainable use of plant and soil natural resources

The Commission adopted a package of measures for a sustainable use of key natural resources, which will also strengthen the resilience of EU food systems and farming.

Fragmentation and Mineralization of a Compostable Aromatic–Aliphatic Polyester during Industrial Composting

Compostable plastics support the separate collection of organic waste. However, there are concerns that the fragments generated during disintegration might not fully biodegrade and leave persistent microplastic in compost. Researchers spiked particles of an aromatic–aliphatic polyester containing polylactide into compost and then tracked disintegration under industrial composting conditions. The yields were compared against polyethylene.

Climate Disruption Caused by a Decline in Marine Biodiversity and Pollution

Climate Disruption Caused by a Decline in Marine Biodiversity and Pollution

The world has focused on carbon mitigation as the only solution for climate change. This discussion paper considers how marine biodiversity regulates the climate, and the factors that control marine biodiversity.

Microorganisms that produce enzymes active on biodegradable polyesters are ubiquitous

Microorganisms that produce enzymes active on biodegradable polyesters are ubiquitous

Biodegradability standards measure ultimate biodegradation of polymers by exposing the material under test to a natural microbial inoculum. Available tests developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) use inoculums sampled from different environments e.g. soil, marine sediments, seawater. Understanding whether each inoculum is to be considered as microbially unique or not can be relevant for the interpretation of tests results. This review address this question.

UK waste statistics 2023 first page

DEFRA annual UK waste statistics 2023

DEFRA has published its annual UK waste statistics, always an interesting read to see the trends. Key points? Flatlined recycling at 44 per cent a number that has barely increased since 2010 despite the performance of Wales at 56.7 per cent; an enormous 6.8 million tonnes of biodegradable waste were landfilled in 2021 up 10 per cent in 2020; and packaging waste recycled remains unchanged at 63.2 per cent – including of course packaging exported for ‘recycling’.


Scotland’s strategy to reduce littering and fly-tipping

Scotland’s Government published its strategy to reduce littering and fly tipping, which you can read here. The timing is ironic given the postponement of Scotland’s DRS programme, halted it would seem by fierce lobbying from the retail and drinks industries as well as issues with the UK Internal Market Act.

Packaging Insights report into compostables and oxodegradability

Despite the openly hostile views of DEFRA towards compostable materials, Packaging Insights reports a surge in demand and the need for more organic recycling facilities to accept compostables. 

The same publication wrote a long and in-depth report into claims around oxodegradability and similar definitions on 19 June, quoting the undersigned in the piece. The report from UCL which was published in May highlights the lack of evidence that any of the additives claiming to ‘biodegrade’ ordinary plastics actually work in reality, especially in cooler and wetter climates. Who would have guessed?

Total Corbion study into how well compostable plastics actually compost and biodegrade in real conditions

BBIA members Total Corbion published the results of a study undertaken in France which demonstrates how well compostable plastics actually compost and biodegrade in real conditions. Well, this is not a surprise to many of us but the surprise is we still need to show that compostables compost! Spoiler: they do. You can read the preliminary report here.

BBIA submits report to CMA on unacceptable FMCG packaging claims

BBIA members have completed a two-month study into the claims that, in our opinion, are and are not acceptable in the UK marketplace for FMCG packaging related to bio-based, biodegradable and compostable materials. It is the first guideline written by an association for the CMA and its members.

This study, which we have now transmitted to the Competition and Markets Authority, we hope will stimulate that body into taking a more vigorous approach to misleading marketing claims and to take into account the study mentioned by UCL into PAC plastics. The document serves moreover, as a series of guidelines for BBIA members to ensure claims conform with certification and realistic market practices. The report is available on the BBIA reports page.

UCL report on the performance and environmental impact of pro-oxidant additive containing plastics in the open unmanaged environment

UCL, the London University specialising in research around compostable and biodegradable plastics, in May published a ground breaking report into the biodegradability of plastics with additives (PAC) in the open environment. 

BBIA was very comforted to read this report because it underlines what we have been saying since our foundation in 2015- that there is no evidence that using additives of any nature to help plastics biodegrade and calling them whatever you wish to call them, is of any environmental benefit. Indeed the report, a review of dozens of scientific papers on the subject as well as partially complete field tests found: 

“Most PAC plastics studied in the literature showed biodegradability values in the range 5–60% and would not pass the criteria for biodegradability set in the new PAS 9017 : 2020.”

Those who still believe in miracle cures by using additives to solve issues of plastic pollution in the open environment need to reflect on what this report concludes:

“There is evidence that PAC plastics abiotically degrade in the open unmanaged environment in hot dry climates characterized by the South of France and Florida, but the timescales for complete biodegradation in the open unmanaged environment of these climates are as yet unknown. The timescales for abiotic degradation and biodegradation in other more temperate climates such as the UK are as yet unknown. 

“The degree of microplastic persistence in the environment and any toxicity to microorganisms are as yet unknown.”

Report on engineering biology: opportunities for the UK economy and national goals

CST spoke with more than 40 experts from academia and industry to understand the opportunities and barriers to building UK capability, with a focus on what is needed to translate research into economic and social impact.

UCL: Biodegration accelerators do not reliably biodegrade

UCL study suggests that plastics containing biodegration accelerators (also known as oxodegradable) do not reliably biodegrade within the time frames of the claims manufacturers make.

The plastic pollutant hiding in plain site

The Food Service online magazine Footprint has highlighted the issue of plastics used in agriculture. As readers will know we have long campaigned with DEFRA to introduce legislation implementing obligatory EPR for recyclable plastics used in farming and the substitution of non-biodegradable soil mulch with certified biodegradable films that are now available. As usual, DEFRA officials choose not to listen and our soils are more polluted by the day.

Micro- and Nanoplastics Breach the Blood–Brain Barrier (BBB): Biomolecular Corona’s Role Revealed

The Higginson media agency this week reported that tiny particles of plastic have been detected in the brains of mice just two hours after ingestion, a finding that could have significant implications for human health. The team of researchers from Austria, the US, Hungary, and the Netherlands also uncovered the mechanism by which nanoplastics breach the blood-brain barrier, an important defence against pathogens and toxins.

Government report on industrial biotechnology

On 30 March the Government published its new report on industrial biotechnology and its potential to grow the UK economy. There are a lot of good references in this to current UK industrial progress including on enzymes, fine chemicals, protein etc, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. However, all the examples are still very small because new technologies need market access to grow, and this requires Government mandates or fiscal policies (just as we have done with renewable energies and electric car, for example). Those seem such a long time away. Anyway, let’s applaud what we’ve got so far.

Journal of Ecological Economics publishes analytical critique on circular policy

An analytical critique of circular economy policies has been published in the Journal of Ecological Economics. The findings include that ‘GDP growth increases resource extraction four times more than the savings achieved by CE initiatives’. We are still a long way away from any meaningful implementation of truly circular policies, globally and also nationally.

European Commission report on greenwashing

The European Commission published its position on green claims with the aim of reducing or avoiding greenwashing. An essential read for everyone facing consumers, but not only. Here in the UK BBIA members are preparing guidelines for the CMA on which claims can be considered justifiable for compostable/biodegradable packaging used in FMCG applications.

Scottish Science and Advisory Council report on the Circular Economy

The Scottish Science and Advisory Council has published in report on the Circular Economy to which BBIA contributed. You can find the 12-page document here.

OCEANIUM 2022 Impact Report

BBIA member OCEANIUM has just published its 2022 Impact Report which is well worth a read. Oceanium uses kelp to produce polymers.

Biodegradable plastics: Status of standardization and new prospect

Recommended reading to anyone who wishes to understand the landscape for the standards related to biodegradable plastics, the CEN (with BSI in the UK) has issued its document ‘Biodegradable plastics: Status of standardization and new prospect’ which can be purchased from the BSI website. It lays out all the existing standards around biodegradable plastics.

Review of the investments made in promoting the growth of the bioeconomy in the EU

The Circular Bioeconomy Joint Undertaking of the European Commission has recently published its review of the investments made in promoting the growth of the bioeconomy in the EU since 2014. There are many success stories, all underlining the rapid technological change going on as well as the industrial growth in course.

European Biogas Association: Role of bioplastics

A new report from the European Biogas Association on the role of bioplastics as highly supportive, stating that ‘the increasing use of bioplastics and their disposal within the organic fraction of municipal solid waste are a critical component for the future of waste management. To promote a circular economy, they need to be recovered to produce new materials and/or energy’. We hope that this clear statement will be echoed in the UK by operators and policy makers.

Carbon Clarity Commentary on the ‘Big Compost Experiment’ Published in the Journal Frontiers in Sustainability

Response to findings from UCL’s Big Compost Experiment, noting that home composting is not an exact science, identifying limiting factors of a citizen science approach, and that UCL study’s conclusion that “home composting is not an effective or environmentally beneficial waste processing method for biodegradable or compostable packaging in the UK” is not accurate given the experimental methods used in the study.

How microplastics are infiltrating the food you eat

BBC Future in depth article the widespread presence of plastic pollution, including microplastics, in various parts of the planet, including in the oceans, soils, and even in the food we eat.

The difficult relationship between science, citizen science, and mass communication. A negative example

A new paper from Francesco Degli-Innocenti, Senior Advisor at Novamont, developer and producer of bioplastics and biochemicals, presents how the citizen science results presented in University College London’s (UCL) recent study ‘The Big Compost Experiment’ have been misinterpreted. Francesco flags the misunderstanding of ‘citizen science’ as a key reason behind media shortfallings.

Seattle Organics report

Seattle Public Utilities’ report ‘Addressing Compost Contamination in Seattle: a combination of policy and outreach’ takes a look into the history and future of the city’s compost programme. From 1989, when the separation of ‘yard waste from garbage was required’ to last year – when Washington State introduced labelling policies to reduce contamination. The report then considers the city’s next steps.

Climate Disruption Caused by a Decline in Marine Biodiversity and Pollution

Recommended reading from the Scottish GOES Institute on how biodiversity loss, especially in oceans, is contributing to climate change.  By pouring microplastics into our global commons we are killing off many microorganisms (eg plankton), so we reduce the rate at which oceans can absorb carbon according to the research.

BBIA response to EFRA report ‘The price of plastic: ending the toll of plastic waste’

Our analysis and response to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee report ‘The price of plastic: ending the toll of plastic waste‘ that examines the issues around plastics waste and its impacts in the UK, and consequentially, abroad.

Sugar-to-What? An Environmental Merit Order Curve for Biobased Chemicals and Plastics

Sugar-to-What? An Environmental Merit Order Curve for Biobased Chemicals and Plastics

Research evaluating environmental impacts of different fermentation processes used in use of biomass versus fossil fuel alternatives.

REAL says at least 24 UK sites can take compostable packaging

The publication by REAL Schemes of the number of composting plants that accept compostable materials is extremely significant for our sector – it shows there are currently many composting plants across the whole nation treating compostables on a daily basis. Given this data, the myth that there is no infrastructure to handle compostables is finally busted. What is still lacking is the the collection routes through which food waste is transported to treatment and we hope this new evidence will give DEFRA the courage to do the right thing – allow councils to co-collect compostable packaging with food waste. For more on the REAL report see here and here.

The relevance of the REAL report is also to be found in its partial coverage of UK composting plants – it only reports on those within REAL’s own quality assurance schemes. There are many other plants outside that which means there are also many more handling compostables than reported by REAL.

Map of composting sites in the UK published by REA

REA have published a map of the composting sites available across the UK. The map shows permitted compost sites, those which are ABP approved (so can take food waste and might take compostables) and those which are Compost Certification Scheme (PAS100) certified. A long time coming the report is nevertheless welcome and is another important indicator of the size of this sector.

CompostAble Chicago

Does the adoption of compostable foodservice packaging, implemented under the right operating conditions, correlate to increased capture of Front of House food scraps with minimised contamination?

Unwrapping the biowaste potential

Exploring the operational, environmental and economic benefits of reducing plastic pollutionin biowaste, compost and digestate in the EU.

Vegware Sustainability Report 2021

Vegware, the Scottish compostable foodservice packaging company, has released its Sustainability Report 2021. The report details Vegware’s commitment to driving access to composting infrastructure, and how its waste consultancy has supported caterers to compost its used compostable containers, cutlery and cups.

BBIA MD David Newman’s speech to ChemUK, May 2022

BBIA’s MD gave a keynote address at the CHEMUK conference in Birmingham on 12 May, underlining the role of Green Chemistry in the UK’s drive towards a cleaner, low carbon industrial base.

BBIA MD David Newman’s speech to the IBIOIC, June 2022

BBIA’s MD gave a keynote speech at the IBIOIC conference in Glasgow on 6 June, highlighting the role of the bioeconomy in the transition to a low carbon economy.

Why We Are Where We Are

An opinion piece published by BBIA MD David Newman, on the current positions and strategies of global governments and how we can navigate the ecological situation ‘in which we now find ourselves’.

Recognizing the long-term impacts of plastic particles for preventing distortion in decision-making

This article, published in Nature, highlights the knowledge gaps on the long term impacts of plastics in the environment. Acknowledging this gap in the context of life cycle assessment methods, the article says, is critical to account for the long-term fate of plastics in the decision-making process.

The researchers conclude that the addition of a plastic particulate footprint as a midpoint impact indicator in life cycle assessments should be considered to quantify these overlooked long-term impacts.

Closing the Plastics Circularity Gap

Released in partnership with consulting firm AFARA, the report aims to identify a series of prioritised interventions to propel the world towards a circular economy. It follows Google’s past work on plastic recycling, such as its 2018 white paper on The Role of Safe Chemistry and Healthy Materials in Unlocking the Circular Economy, and its 2019 landscape assessment of chemical recycling technologies with investment firm Closed Loop Partners, AFARA and nonprofit group GreenBlue.

Evaluating six polymers in three major regions of the world, the report finds that rethinking design, reducing resource consumption, optimizing the system to keep products and components in use for as long as possible, regenerating and preserving natural capital, and recycling more are essential strategies.

ReShaping Plastics: Pathways to a Circular, Climate Neutral System in Europe

‘ReShaping Plastics: Pathways to a Circular, Climate Neutral System In Europe’ presents an evidence-based roadmap for a paradigm shift in the European Plastics system. 

Commissioned by Plastics Europe, this report aims to help guide policymakers, industry executives, investors, and civil society leaders as they seek to understand the trade-offs and navigate through a highly contested and complex terrain toward a circular Europe plastics system.

Flexible packaging: The urgent actions needed to deliver circular economy solutions

Flexible packaging is the fastest-growing plastic packaging category. Because it is almost uniformly single-use, with very low recycling and high leakage rates, it is also by far the most challenging market segment to address on the journey towards a circular economy for plastics.

This work aims to support organisations in achieving their circular economy for plastics goals by providing a practical direction forwards for flexible packaging.

Note: the below file is the executive summary. To view all chapters, visit the report page on the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s website.

Single-use Cups and On-the-Go Fibre-composite Food Packaging

This project aims to gather data on the flows of single-use cups and on-the-go fibre-composite food packaging placed on market and recycled in the UK. It also aims to identify options for managing these items to help reduce the environmental impact of single-use cups and on-the-go fibre-composite food packaging, including an assessment of potential policy measures.

Problems in the Reporting of GHG Emissions from ‘Waste’: Indicators and Inventories

This paper outlines the problems with the way UK greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories are reported to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Currently, emissions associated with waste treated through incineration are reported under the ‘energy’ inventory instead of ‘waste’.

Any emissions reductions delivered by waste recycling are also omitted, listed under the ‘industrial production and product use’ section. Defra’s reporting therefore only reflects what is reported to the UN under the ‘waste’ section – currently limited to emissions associated with landfilling and composting, with the former accounting for the majority of emissions.

David Newman, discussion paper and talk with IETS

Speaking at the IEA Technology Collaboration Programme webinar on the circular bioeconomy on 16 February, BBIA Managing Director David Newman highlights the need to align policies with ambitions.

Government policy relative to the development of the bio-based and biodegradable industries sector in the UK

This paper examines several strategies published by the UK Government since 2017, which relate to bio-based and compostable plastic. BBIA underlines the apparent strategic support for the production of bio-based materials in the UK and for the separate collection and treatment of certified biodegradable/compostable products post-consumption, highlighting the significant development of the industry in the UK since 2017 including as a result the funding for research, driven through UKRI.

BBIA finds, however, that the transposition of strategic direction into policies is often contradictory and detrimental to the bio-based and biodegradable industries sector. Policies so far, since 2020, have been implemented which either disregard Government strategies or are announced that intend to over-turn Government strategies. BBIA calls upon Ministers, the Civil Service and Parliamentarians, to respect the strategic trajectory laid down by Governments since 2017 when implementing policy decisions, thus supporting the industry and kick-starting major investments into the UK economy.

Microplastics identification and quantification in the composted organic fraction of municipal solid waste

Composted Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Waste (OFMSW) is used in agricultural soils as a source of organic matter and nutrients. Besides, its use avoids landfilling or incineration following the principles of circular economy. It is well established that source-separated OFMSW is suitable for compost production, but its quality depends on their content in non-compostable materials.

This study selects and examines the final refined compost from five OFMSW facilities over a five-month period, the results suggesting that the use of compostable polymers and the implementation of door-to-door collection systems could reduce the concentration of plastic impurities in compost from OFMSW.

Reckoning with the U.S. Role in Global Ocean Plastic Waste

The report assesses the U.S.contribution to plastic production and waste generation, the mechanisms that move plastics from land into
aquatic environments, and the distribution and fate of plastic waste entering the ocean. It recommends a national strategy for reducing the U.S. contribution to global ocean plastic waste, lays out a vision for a national marine debris tracking and monitoring system, and identifies priority knowledge gaps that are used in the national strategy along with the tracking and monitoring system.

Science Note: Soil Carbon

This science note aims to set out the importance of carbon in soils, how it behaves, and the role it plays in supporting soil functions, delivering vital public goods and services, and helping societies adapt to and reduce the rate of climate change. It also strives to raise awareness of the main issues surrounding soil carbon and the actions that governments, communities and individuals can take.

The Role of the Bioeconomy in the Climate Change Debate

This document compiles perspectives from industry experts – Paul Mines, Chief Executive of Biome Technologies; Adrian Higson, Managing Director of NNFCC; and Richard Platt, Managing Consultant atE4Tech – on the role of the bioeconomy in the climate change debate, as well as a series of policy recommendations on compostable packaging and other biobased and biodegradable materials.

The Compostable Conundrum

This working paper is designed to guide and inform a growing number of conversations on plastic pollution and compostable materials. With legislation fast approaching which will make separate food waste collections mandatory across the EU block and England and rising public frustration with plastic packaging, clarity is needed on when it is responsible to use compostable materials and when it makes sense to use another material.

The document has been created for packaging designers and brand managers, ultimately focusing on one issue of concern – the health of our soils.

Digestate Post‐treatment and Upcycling: Unconventional Moisturizing Agent for Food Waste In‐Vessel Composting

Tunisia faces challenging environmental and energy issues, relating mainly to the implementation of an appropriate solid waste management system capable of dealing with the high production of biowaste, and the increased need for water and energy resources. This study intends to develop a closed cycle technical concept treating mainly food waste through combined biological processes.

Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener

This policy document, published by the UK Government, outlines the Net Zero Strategy. The Strategy, the Government states, sets out measures to transition to a green and sustainable future, help businesses and consumers to move to clean power, support job generation and leverage up to £90 billion in private investment by 2030.

The document indicates that the Government will scale up the production of biofuels, amongst other low carbon alternative fuel sources. This, the document states, will contribute towards an overall emissions reduction of 39-51 per cent in the natural resources sector.

Linking the issues of soil health, climate change, waste management, and the bioeconomy

This paper, which was written by the European Circular Bioeconomy Policy Initiative (ECBPI) and its many academic supporters and research institutes, aims to inform EU policymakers about how to understand and recognise the connections between the quality and health of our soils, and their importance in combatting climate change. It additionally outlines how good waste management plays a critical role in supporting this, and how the bioeconomy can provide significant benefits for the EU economy and environment.

Variation in frequency of CQA-tested municipal solid waste compost can alter metabolites in vegetables

This study sets out to assess the five-year variable frequency of application of Compost Quality Alliance (CQA) tested municipal solid waste (MSW) compost effect on metabolic profiles of the edible portions of four different vegetable plants – lettuce, beetroot, carrot, and green beans.

The research concludes that the annual application of MSW compost enhanced amino acids, phospholipids, acylcarnitines, amines and choline but reduced glucose in the vegetables, urging further studies to elucidate the mechanisms underpinning such biofortification.


Policy on liners and re-purposed bags suitable for separate collection of targeted food waste streams from households, businesses and non-domestic premises in England

This document sets out the REA’s policy on bags and liners suitable for separately collecting particular biodegradable waste types from the particular source types specified in our policy below, in England from 2023 onwards.

Its implementation should coincide with the introduction of mandatory separate food waste collections in England and whatever government decides on rules for co-collecting food and plant wastes and corresponding timings.

Plastics, microplastics in compost digestate

This position paper by the European Compost Network (ECN) addresses the production of quality compost and digestate obtained from separately collected feedstock, and the presence of plastics in the final product.

It concludes that the composting and anaerobic digestion sector must be framed as one of the many unintentional carriers of microplastics.

Disintegration half-life of biodegradable plastic films on different marine beach sediments

To gain more insight into the effects of different sediments on the degradation rate of biodegradable plastic, Andreas Eich, Miriam Weber and Christian Lott performed two iterative seawater tank experiments.

Understanding the parameters driving biodegradation is key to reliably report the range of disintegration rates occurring under the various conditions in different ecosystems.

Bio-based plastic: Opportunity and impact

The UK plastic industry is highly innovative, it adds considerable value to the materials it processes and is an important export industry.

The production of bio-based plastic produced from sustainable renewable resources, designed for recycling or composting, can play an important role in realising the UK’s 25 Year Environment Plan, its Green Industrial Revolution, and the ambition to build back better post COVID-19.

Global assessment of soil pollution

This new report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) points to the growing pressure that soil is under from farming, mining, building and erosion.

Soil quality is fundamental to our global food industry and is now beginning to get the policy attention it deserves.

Plastic packaging: Recyclability by design

These guidelines, published by RECOUP, focus on the design of plastic packaging to facilitate recycling and represent a small but important aid for the journey to sustainable production and consumption.

EU biorefinery outlook to 2030

The study, which was developed by E4tech (lead), BTG, Wageningen Research, FNR and ICONS with the support of over 100 stakeholders from the bio-based industry, presents scenarios on how demand and supply for bio-based chemicals and materials could grow to 2030, and provides roadmaps with actions required to increase the deployment of chemical and material driven biorefineries in the EU.

Best EU initiatives for achieving material circularity for three types of plastic

This study from the European Commission assesses the effectiveness of different initiative scenarios to close the plastic loop in Europe.

Composting and how to maintain the carbon cycle

A number of videos in various European languages have been released by Novamont explaining composting and how to maintain the carbon cycle. The educational videos aim to describe and explain key concepts in terms of composting, such as biodegradation and how the carbon cycle feeds soil.

Development of quality standards for compost and digestate in Ireland

Prepared for the Environmental Protection Agency in Ireland by Cré as part of the EPA Research Programme 2021–2030, this report details the developments of an updated compost standard and a new digestate standard based on the results of an analysis of Irish compost and digestate samples.

Biodegradable and compostable polymer materials

Life on Earth depends on organic carbon, the key building block for the many natural macromolecules crucial to life. Nature has evolved a process for recycling this organic carbon so that at the end of an organism’s life the natural polymers are broken down and the carbon can be re-incorporated into new living structures.
This BBIA report outlines how to utilise the biodegradability of polymer materials, composting, anaerobic digestion and soil degradation, among other things.

Air quality-related health damages of food

Agriculture is a major contributor to air pollution, the largest environmental risk factor for mortality in the United States and worldwide. It is largely unknown, however, how individual foods or entire diets affect human health via poor air quality.
This report from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) explores how food production negatively impacts human health by increasing atmospheric fine particulate matter.

Biodegradation of synthetic polymers in soils: Tracking carbon into CO2 and microbial biomass

Plastic materials are widely used in agricultural applications to achieve food security for the growing world population. The use of biodegradable instead of non-biodegradable polymers in single-use agricultural applications, including plastic mulching, promises to reduce plastic accumulation in the environment. This report by researchers at ETH Zurich and Eawag have now identified an alternative: films made of the polymer PBAT biodegrade in soils.

European assessment of compostable packaging

This report, commissioned by TIPA and compiled by Ricardo Energy, reviews the current opportunities and barriers for the use of compostable packaging across the EU through a range of desk-based research and structured interviews.

An environmental and economic assessment of bioplastic from urban biowaste

This study quantifies the environmental and economic consequences of diverting municipal food waste and wastewater sewage sludge from traditional management to the biorefinery-based production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) in five geographical regions.

Widespread occurrence of pesticides in organically managed agricultural soils: the ghost of a conventional agricultural past?

Pesticides are applied in large quantities to agroecosystems worldwide. To date, few studies assessed the occurrence of pesticides in organically managed agricultural soils, and it is unresolved whether these pesticide residues affect soil life. This comprehensive study demonstrates that pesticides are a hidden reality in agricultural soils, and our results suggest that they have harmful effects on beneficial soil life.

South Australia Government Single-Use Plastic legislation

A Bill for an Act to restrict and prohibit the manufacture, production, distribution, sale and supply of certain single-use and other plastic products and for other purposes.

DEFRA statistics on waste managed by local authorities in England in 2019/20

This release relates to the collection and management of waste under the possession or control of local authorities in England. It covers three principal measures:’waste from households’, local authority collected waste and household waste. This release was delayed due to reporting difficulties experienced by some local authorities during the Covid-19 epidemic in 2020.

Economics of Biodiversity Dasgupta review

The economics of biodiversity: the Dasgupta review

The Dasgupta review is an independent report into the relationship between nature and economics, written by Professor Partha Dasgupta. The review demonstrates that in order to judge whether the path of economic development we choose to follow is sustainable, nations need to adopt a system of economic accounts that records an inclusive measure of their wealth.

'Innovative feedstocks for biodegradable plastics' front cover

Innovative feedstocks in biodegradable bio-based plastics: a literature review

Within the framework of Bioplastics Europe and the EU Horizon 2020 programme, the Hamburg Institute of International Economics reviews recent results of the literature on Environmental Life Cycle Assessment (ELCA) regarding the ecological impacts of alternative and innovative feedstocks for the production of bio-based and biodegradable polymers.

Dynamic material flow analysis of PET, PE, and PP flows in Europe: Evaluation of the potential for circular economy

This American Chemistry Society publication evaluates the potential circularity of PET, PE, and PP flows in Europe based on dynamic material flow analysis (MFA), considering product lifetimes, demand growth rates, and quality reductions of recycled plastic (downcycling).

'Review of recent advances in biodegradability' front cover

Review of recent advances in the biodegradability of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) bioplastics and their composites

This review from the Royal Society of Chemistry summarises recent advances and opportunities to utilise polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) as a biodegradable substitute in some applications where non-biodegradable and petroleum-based plastics are currently used.

'Assessment of attitudes to bioplastics in Europe' front cover

An assessment of attitudes towards plastics and bioplastics in Europe

Departing from the assumption that the public attitude is a determining factor in the consumption of plastics as a whole and bioplastics in particular, this paper sheds some light on the current situation, identifying some trends and information gaps which should be addressed in order to encourage a more rational use of plastics in Europe.

'Market dynamics of bio-based plastics' front cover

Market dynamics of biodegradable bio-based plastics: projections and linkages to European policies

Within the framework of Bioplastics Europe and the EU Horizon 2020 programme, the Hamburg Institute of International Economics has published a paper analysing the future market perspectives for biodegradable bio-based plastics
at the global and the European level.

How soil carbon accounting can improve to support investment-oriented actions promoting soil carbon storage

Enhancing soil health can improve agricultural productivity and soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15 and the Land Degradation Neutrality Framework demonstrate the increasing attention of policymakers to the importance of SOC for land productivity and food security.

Understanding the cost-benefits of compostable caddy liners in food waste collections

Consultancy Sancroft has undertaken research into the cost and benefits of standardising UK food waste collections using compostable caddy liners. After months of interviewing key stakeholders across the UK, and detailed analyses of costs and benefits, their conclusions are relevant to all those looking at how the UK (and beyond) will cope with mandated household food waste collections post 2023.

BBIA report

The ten year perspective – food waste, compostables and packaging in the UK 2020-2030

Compostable packaging may be a small part of the complex packaging and resource puzzle but if we ensure it is used in the right places, where biowaste needs to be collected for treatment, we can both reduce plastic waste and improve soil quality: a double win for our natural environment.

This BBIA policy paper examines the role that compostable packaging can play on the UK’s waste management practice in the next decade.

'A circular economy for nappies' report front cover

A circular economy for nappies and how to implement it locally

This report, authored by members of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation network, responds to the 2019 World Bank report ‘Oceans of Opportunity’, which states that single-use plastic disposable nappies are the one of the largest contributors to marine pollution. The report addresses the issue of nappy waste and aims to apply circular economy principles to find solutions.

Reviewers include BBIA Managing Director David Newman, A Plastic Planet co-founder Sian Sutherland, environmentalist Ben Goldsmith and Dr Amardeep Wander from Asia Pacific Consulting.

A system change compass: Implementing the European Green Deal in a time of recovery

Implementation of the European Green Deal and the coronavirus recovery are two sides of the same coin. Europe has the potential to emerge from the current crisis to become a fairer, more prosperous, more sustainable and more resilient society.

People in Europe are rightly calling for progress on the European Green Deal. The need to act on this challenge is overwhelming and urgent. This report will give us welcome counsel on how best to act.

A circular economy for nappies and how to implement it locally

This report, authored by members of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation network, responds to the 2019 World Bank report ‘Oceans of Opportunity’, which states that single-use plastic disposable nappies are the one of the largest contributors to marine pollution. The report addresses the issue of nappy waste and aims to apply circular economy principles to find solutions.

Reviewed by BBIA Managing Director David Newman, A Plastic Planet co-founder Sian Sutherland, environmentalist Ben Goldsmith and Dr Amardeep Wander from Asia Pacific Consulting.

An introduction to UK policies and bioeconomy innovation

The UK is recognised as a world leader in the biosciences field. The potential to use biotechnology in the production of biofuels and biobased products has stimulated several important research programmes. However, research is just one element of successful innovation whereby new products and process are commercialised.

The UK has the research base to be an influential player in the global bioeconomy. How the UK focusses and capitalises on this potential will depend, in part, on how its policy landscape evolves.

Front cover of Financing the Circular Economy report

Financing the circular economy: Capturing the opportunity

As a solution that can scale fast, the relevance of the circular economy has only become more apparent in recent discussions about economic renewal. All aspects of finance will be vital to scale the transition to the circular economy. Private sector investors, banks, and corporate finance departments, as well as governments and other public sector bodies that control trillions of dollars of public investment and set the regulatory frameworks, all have crucial roles to play. This paper focuses primarily on private sector finance and explores the circular economy’s value creation potential for investors, banks, and other financial services firms.

Biowaste in Europe – Turning challenges into opportunities

This report by the European Environment Agency provides an overview of bio-waste prevention, generation, collection and treatment in Europe. It aims to support countries by sharing experience and best practice.

Don’t scrap the waste: The need for broader system boundaries in bioplastic food packaging life-cycle assessment – A critical review

A systematic review investigating the relationship between food packaging and food waste, based on conventional and biodegradable plastic food packaging production, end-of-life management and food waste prevention across the entire food packaging life-cycle.

Talking Trash

A new report from the Changing Markets Foundation investigating the tactics deployed by the world’s biggest plastic polluters to undermine plastic waste regulations.

Extended producer responsibility: How to unlock the environmental and economic potential of plastic packaging waste?

A new study exploring the effectiveness of EPR in tackling plastic packaging waste across 40 management scenarios.

China’s ban on single-use plastic: challenges and opportunities

A comment from Dr Bowen Tan of Pujing Chemical Industry Co., Ltd on how the Chinese Government’s ban on single-use plastic could be an opportunity for biodegradable alternatives.

OPRL Annual Report 2019/20

A summary of the activities of the On-Pack Recycling Label scheme’s over the past 12 months.

Breaking the Plastic Wave

A ground-breaking report by The Pew Charitable Trusts and SYSTEMIQ which plots a first-of-its-kind model for how to reduce global plastic pollution.

Intrinsic Biodegradability of Plastics and Ecological Risk in the Case of Leakage

An independent report by Francesco degli Innocenti and Tony Breton of Novamont on plastic biodegradability and harm posed to the environment in the event of leakage into the environment.

Caring for the soil is caring for life

An independent expert report from the European Commission ‘s mission Board for Soil Health and Food, providing an update on progress towards the goal to ensure 75 per cent of soils are healthy by 2030.

25 Year Environment Plan Progress Report

An update published by the government on the progress towards the goals and objectives of the 25 Year Environment Plan.

RES URBIS Project: General project review consolidated report

The final project report on the RES URBIS project compiled by the European Commission Research Executive Agency.

Bio-waste in Europe – Turning challenges into opportunities

The European Environment Agency (EEA) looks at the importance of organics waste recycling for the achievement of EU recycling targets, laying out how separate collection of food and garden waste is the best route to increasing organics recycling.

The fate of (compostable) plastic products in a full scale industrial organic waste treatment facility

The report from Wageningen University and Research covers research carried out between February and October 2019, where nine different compostable plastic products were tested for disintegration and biodegradation in industrial composting plants.

Considerations for compostable plastic packaging

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), the Australasian Bioplastics
Association (ABA) and the Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) produce a new set of guidelines to help businesses make informed choices when considering the use of compostable packaging

20 Years of Government Responses to the Global Plastic Pollution Problem

Plastic pollution in the ocean is a global problem that requires cooperation from a wide range of groups (e.g., governments, producers, consumers, researchers, civil society). However, by virtue of their core regulatory powers, governments have a critical role to play in helping to solve this problem. This study aims to synthesize the policy response of governments to the global plastic pollution problem, as a basis for more rigorous monitoring of progress (as called for in Resolution 4/6 of the 2019 United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) meeting) and to inform future public policies.

The scope of the study is limited to public policies introduced during the period from January 2000 to July 2019, prior to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

How big is the bioeconomy? Reflections from an economic perspective

Research conducted by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre to advance more objective and rigorous measurement and analysis of the bioeconomy according to the Commission’s broad 2018 definition.

Detection of high PBDD/Fs levels and dioxin-like activity in toys using a combination of GC-HRMS, rat-based and human-based DR CALUX® reporter gene assays

The fate of (compostable) plastic products in full-scale industrial organic waste treatment facility

Research carried out by Wageningen University has revealed that compostable plastics biodegrade sufficiently quickly in Dutch composting facilities.

Metrics for quantifying the circularity of bioplastics

Plastic in food waste at compost sites

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has released a project report looking at levels of plastic contamination in food waste destined for compost sites in light of its introduction of stricter contamination limits. The report makes a series of recommendations for domestic and commercial food waste to tackle contamination in feedstocks.

Statistics on waste managed by local authorities in England in 2018/19

This statistical release relates to the management of ‘waste from households’, local authority collected waste and household waste in England for the 2018 calendar year and for the 2018/19 financial year. The official England ‘waste from households’ recycling rate for 2018/19 was 45.1 per cent, up 0.3 per cent from 2017.

BBIA Position Paper on Standards for Biodegradable, Compostable and Bio-based Plastics

BBIA outlines its response to BEIS and Defra’s consultation on standards for biodegradable, compostable and bio-based plastics, including the environmental impacts of producing bio-based plastics and the time and conditions necessary for these materials to biodegrade.

Plastic Atlas: Facts and figures about the world of synthetic polymers

The Plastic Atlas provides facts, data and figures to paint a picture of the impact of plastic use across the globe, and acts as a call to action to reduce the production and consumption of the problem material for the good of the planet and its environment.

Plastics in the Bioeconomy report

The report prepared by Ricardo Energy and Environment for the Biomass Biorefinery Network looks at the state of the market for plastics in the UK bioeconomy. The report summarises the current scale and types of compostables on the UK market, how the market for compostable plastics could grow in the medium term, identification of suitable biomass resources that could be used as feedstocks and the potential contribution of compostable plastics to the UK Plastics Pact targets for 2025, including for 100 per cent of packaging to be recyclable, reusable or compostable and for 70 per cent of all packaging to be recycled or composted.

BBIA Position Paper on the Resources and Waste Strategy

BBIA outlines its response to the UK Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy, including the potential for the uptake of compostable materials and support for the mandatory separate collection of food waste.

Experiments undertaken in 2012 in Italy on the possible effects of bioplastics contamination of traditional plastics recycling. ENGLISH VERSION

Strategies to reduce the global carbon footprint of plastics

Outcome report: Sustainable & circular bioeconomy, the European way

Brussels 22 October 2018

The outcome report of the EU Bioeconomy conference held in Brussels on 22 October 2018, attended by more than 500 participants. The event was held following the publication of the new Bioeconomy Strategy on 11 October and looks at how the strategy can unleash the potential of the bio-based sectors to modernise Europe’s economy.

Experiments undertaken in 2012 in Italy on the possible effects of bioplastics contamination of traditional plastics recycling. ITALIAN VERSION

PLA in the Waste Stream

The consequential increase in bio-based plastic packaging and the expected rise of new types of materials entering the recycling streams led the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) to initiate a study on the disposal, sorting, and recycling of bio-based plastics, in particular of PLA, an innovative polymer that is 100 percent bio-based, very versatile, and especially suitable for packaging applications.

Completing the circle: Creating effective UK markets for recovered resources

Green Alliance analyses how adding ‘pull’ measures to existing policy would address market failures and encourage better product design and materials management for three materials that are fundamental to the economy: plastic, steel and critical raw materials.

Biobased Plastics in a Circular Economy

A report carried out by CE Delft looking at under which conditions bio-based plastics (both biodegradable and non-biodegradable) are compatible with the circular economy.

Trials of compostable plastic films in German composting and AD plants, 2017

Government Office for Science

Food waste: A response to the policy challenge

Created by the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor and the Defra Chief Scientist, this policy paper addresses the issue of food waste in the UK and makes recommendations on how it can be reduced at various points in the supply chain, from the farm to the household.
Matthias C. Rillig, Lisa Ziersch & Stefan Hempel
Despite great general benefits derived from plastic use, accumulation of plastic material in ecosystems, and especially microplastic, is becoming an increasing environmental concern. Microplastic has been extensively studied in aquatic environments, with very few studies focusing on soils. We here tested the idea that microplastic particles (polyethylene beads) could be transported from the soil surface down the soil profile via earthworms. We used Lumbricus terrestris L., an anecic earthworm species, in a factorial greenhouse experiment with four different microplastic sizes. Presence of earthworms greatly increased the presence of microplastic particles at depth (we examined 3 soil layers, each 3.5 cm deep), with smaller PE microbeads having been transported downward to a greater extent.

Scottish Environment Protection Agency

Investigation into plastic in food waste derived digestate and soil – Project report

Created by Aspray TJ (Heriot-Watt University) and Dimambro ME and Steiner HJ (Cambridge Eco Ltd), this report for SEPA investigates the potential impact of plastic contamination in agricultural soils to inform decision making regarding the production and use of food waste derived fertilisers. (Work undertaken between October 2016 and March 2017)

The European Commission regulation on fertilisers, draft of ENVI committee amendments June 2017

Opinion of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down rules on the making available on the market of CE marked fertilising products and amending Regulations (EC) No 1069/2009 and (EC) No 1107/2009 (COM(2016)0157 – C8-0123/2016 – 2016/0084(COD))
Rapporteur: Elisabetta Gardini

Collaboration on science and innovation: a future partnership paper

This paper, produced by the Department for Exiting the European Union, outlines the UK’s objectives for an ambitious science and innovation agreement with the EU. It sets out examples of where the UK sees potential mutual benefit in a close working relationship, exploring precedents for each. The paper invites discussion with the EU on how best to shape our future partnership in this area.

European Bioplastics on the advantages of biodegradable soil mulch films

Negotiating documents on Article 50 negotiations with the United Kingdom

Documents published as part of the European Commission’s approach to transparency on Article 50 negotiations with the United Kingdom.

The difficulties of recycling PE agricultural mulches – soil and air pollution consequences

Produced by researchers at the Agricultural University of Athens, this study, published in the Waste Management journal, looks at technical specifications appropriate for the recycling of agricultural plastic wastes (APWs).

Improving Natural Capital – An assessment of progress

This report, the fourth composed by Parliament’s Natural Capital Committee, sets out the work done by the committee since March 2016. It also makes a series of recommendations to government on developing the government’s 25 year environment plan.

Charting the bioplastics boom – Resource magazine

Resource magazine published an overview of the current state of the bioplastics market, with particular emphasis on the UK and the challenges the industry faces in order to continue its growth.

Food waste in England – EFRA Committee report

Following an inquiry into food waste in England, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee published its report, recommending that the government take greater action on food waste, introducing a national reduction target and work closely with local authorities to ensure that separate food waste collections are offered to as many households as possible within the UK.

Soil Erosion Threatens Food Production

Produced by David Pimentel and Michael Burgess from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University and published in the Agriculture journal, this study finds that soil erosion is one of the most serious threats facing world food production. Each year about 10 million ha of cropland are lost due to soil erosion, reducing the cropland available for world food production. Overall, soil is being lost from agricultural areas 10 to 40 times faster than the rate of soil formation imperiling humanity’s food security.

Urban Biocycles – Ellen MacArthur Foundation

This scoping paper focuses on the potential of the significant volume of organic waste flowing through the urban environment. The aim is to highlight the opportunities to capture value, in the form of the energy, nutrients and materials embedded in these flows, through the application of circular economy principles. The objective of this scoping paper is to present an initial exploration of the circular economy opportunities for the biocycle economy. It presents the first steps towards a deeper understanding enabled by a more comprehensive analysis.

‘Oxo-biodegradable’ plastics and other plastics with additives for degradation

This background paper produced by European Bioplastics, an industry association representing the interests of bioplastics including bioplastics that are certified as biodegradable/ compostable, explains why it distances itself from additive-mediated conventional plastics, such as so-called “oxo-degradable” plastics, and what issues such materials can cause, as well as supporting consumers, retailers, and the industry in identifying unsubstantiated and misleading product claims.

European Commission Bioeconomy Strategy, 2012

Launched and adopted in February 2012, Europe’s Bioeconomy Strategy addresses the production of renewable biological resources and their conversion into vital products and bio-energy. Under the lead of DG Research and Innovation, the Strategy was co-signed by several other Commission departments namely DG Agriculture and Rural Development, DG Environment, DG Maritime Affairs, and DG Industry and Entrepreneurship.

Biodegradable Plastics: An Overview of the Compostability of Biodegradable Plastics and
its Implications for the Collection and Treatment of Organic Wastes

Prepared for the International Solid Waste Assocation (ISWA) by the Working Group on Biological Treatment of Waste, this paper aims to provide an overview of the different types of biodegradable plastics, their properties and their role in the management of organic wastes. The ISWA Working Group concludes that there is a need for biodegradable plastics to be clearly labelled, so to enhance consumer awareness and help distinguish compostable plastics from other non-compostable
polymers. There is the possibility to develop a globally recognised label based on the ISO standard.

Fantastic Bioplastic – Waste Management World

The International Solid Waste Association published a special edition of its magazine Waste Management World in August 2016 on the role of bioplastics in waste management.

BBIA guidance for members on plastic bag charge

From 5 October 2015, all retailers employing more than 250 full time equivalent employees in England must charge at least 5p for a lightweight plastic carrier bag. BBIA has created guidance for members regarding the charge and what it means for compostable carrier bags.

Mapping and assessing the condition of Europe’s ecosystems: progress and challenges

This report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) finds that Europe’s ecosystems face increasing pressure to stay healthy amid rising pollution, overexploitation, urban sprawl and the effects of climate change. gives a snapshot of current ecosystem health in Europe. It identifies key gaps in data which are essential to properly assess the health of Europe’s many ecosystems. The report concludes improved mapping and assessments are needed in order to understand the problems faced by Europe’s ecosystems and to restore these key life-sustaining systems to better health. This understanding is vital for policymakers to come up with suitable responses.

The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics

Applying circular economy principles to global plastic packaging flows could ‘transform’ the plastics economy and ‘drastically reduce negative externalities’ such as leakage into oceans, says this report by the World Economic Forum and Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

The report uses analytical support from American consulting firm McKinsey & Company to create a vision of a closed-loop global plastics economy and suggests steps that could be taken to bring about the systemic shift needed to make the vision a reality.

Benefits and challenges of bio- and oxo- degradable plastics: A comparative literature study

Bio-degradable plastics were originally developed in order to solve specific waste issues related either to agricultural films or collection and separation of food waste. Oxo-degradable plastics are claimed to provide a potential solution to littering issues. As this is a very complex topic with various parameters such as raw materials, application sector and end-of-life questions and to avoid confusion and add clarity to the terms “biodegradable” and “oxo-degradable” plastics, PlasticsEurope commissioned OWS to carry out a comparative literature study on the “benefits and challenges of bio- and oxo-degradable plastics”.

European Bioeconomy in Figures

A first extensive macro-economic study commissioned by the Bio-based Industries Consortium and carried out by the nova-Institute. It concludes that the total European Bioeconomy amounts to 2.1 trillion EUR turnover, and includes the food, feed and beverages sectors which are responsible for roughly half of the turnover. Bio-based industries – chemicals and plastics, pharmaceuticals, paper and paper products, forest-based industries, textile sector, biofuels and bioenergy – contribute with 600 billion EUR.

Enzyme-mediated degradable plastics FAQ

Published by European Bioplastics in December 2014, this document seeks to answer frequently asked questions regarding enzyme-mediated plastics – conventional, fossil-based plastics with additives that are neither biodegradable nor compostable. The document covers how such materials should be used, what certification they require and how to spot materials that are being incorrectly marketed.

Assessment of separate collection schemes in the 28 capitals of the EU

Published by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment and produced by the Copenhagen Resource Institute and BiPRO, this report assesses the legislation and practice of separate collection systems for waste across the 28 EU Member States.

Among its recommendations following analysis of each EU member state’s collection system, is a call for the obligatory source segregated collection of biowaste.

The future potential economic impacts of a bio-plastics industry in the UK

O. Hogan, R. Jayasuriya, S. Uppala, L. Holdgate and N. Skero. (2015). ‘The future potential economic impacts of a bio-plastics industry in the UK: A report for the Bio-based and Biodegradable Industries Association (BBIA)’. Produced by Cebr, an independent economics and business research consultancy.

Biodegradable Plastics and Marine Litter. Misconceptions, Concerns and Impacts on Marine Environments (2015)

This report from the United Nations Environment programme (UNEP) finds that complete biodegradation of plastics occurs in conditions that are rarely, if ever, met in marine environments, with some polymers requiring industrial composters and prolonged temperatures of above 50°C to disintegrate. There is also limited evidence suggesting that labelling products as ‘biodegradable’ increases the public’s inclination to litter.

Waste or resource? Stimulating a bioeconomy

Published by the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee in March 2014, the report called on the Government to help change the way we view waste – seeing it as an opportunity rather than a problem. It also made a clear call to the Government to create a Waste Champion, to take on the job of developing a ‘brass from muck’ bioeconomy – one that could see enormous economic benefits as well as a considerable number of green jobs – and develop a long term plan for a high value bioeconomy.

From the Sugar Platform to biofuels and biochemicals

Numerous potential pathways to biofuels and biochemicals exist via the sugar platform. This study uses literature surveys, market data and stakeholder input to provide a comprehensive evidence base for policymakers and industry – identifying the key benefits and development needs for the sugar platform.

The study created a company database for 94 sugar – based products, with some already commercial, the majority at research/pilot stage,and only a few demonstration plants crossing the “valley of death”.

Bio-based Building Blocks and Polymers in the World – Capacities, Production and Applications: Status Quo and Trends towards 2020

Produced by nova-Institute, this updated market study of bio-based building blocks used as precursors of bio-based polymers. Includes data from 2012 to 2014.Aeschelmann, F, Carus, M (2015). ‘Bio-based Building Blocks and Polymers in the World – Capacities, Production and Applications: Status Quo and Trends towards 2020’.

Building a high value bioeconomy

The harnessing of biological resources or bioprocesses to produce food, fuels and chemicals is not new. For thousands of years wood has been used for energy, agriculture has focused on boosting and sustaining food production, and microbes have been exploited to produce ethanol. In the early 20th Century, we saw the introduction of commercial scale production of citric acid and penicillin via microbial fermentation.

Bioplastic: an economic and environmental evaluation by Francesco Bertolini from SDA Bocconi School of Management in Italy

In a 2013 presentation, Francesco Bertolini calls for more case studies to show that it is possible to have a successful bioeconomy, able to reach environmental and economic improvements.

Kitchen Waste Composting Trial End of Trial Report June 2007

Lancashire Environmental Fund funded the project under the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme (now Landfill Communities Fund). The project is titled ‘Kitchen Waste Composting Trial’ and has been set up as a partnership between LEF, Lancashire County Council and Preston City Council.

Resource management: a catalyst for growth and productivity

The government is committed to driving economic growth, reducing the deficit and increasing UK exports. Moving towards a more circular economy can contribute to this and is essential for our future growth, increased resilience and environmental and human health.

Analysis of retailers’ front of store plastic film collection

From January to July 2014, WRAP conducted a compositional analysis to identify what is being collected at front of store collection points for plastic film packaging in the UK. The overall aim of the project was to determine the efficiency of the On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) in promoting the film recycling message to consumers, and to determine, within reasonable bounds of confidence, the typical levels of contamination in retailers’ front of store plastic film collections, looking at different retailers across the four UK nations.

Where next for the European bioeconomy?

This publication presents the latest thinking on the bioeconomy from the Standing Committee
on Agricultural Research and the European Bioeconomy Panel. It is released on the occasion of
the Bioeconomy Stakeholders’ Conference organised by the Italian Presidency of the European
Union in Turin on 8-9 October 2014.

Bio-based Building Blocks and Polymers in the World – Capacities, Production and Applications: Status Quo and Trends towards 2020

Germany’s nova-Institute carried out this study in collaboration with renowned international experts from the field of bio-based building blocks and polymers. The study investigates every kind of bio-based polymer and, for the first time, several major building blocks produced around the world.

EU Knowledge Centre for Bioeconomy

Your source of information on bioeconomy. Find here all the latest data and information about bioeconomy, including statistics on investments in research, policy mapping, bioeconomy country profiles, data visualisation and analytical reports.

This website is managed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC).

EU Bioeconomy Observatory website

Your source of information on bioeconomy. Find here all the latest data and information about bioeconomy, including statistics on investments in research, policy mapping, bioeconomy country profiles, data visualisation and analytical reports.

This website is managed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC).

An Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry A Report to the Congress of the United States of America

Golden, J.S., Handfield, R.B., Daystar, J. and, T.E. McConnell (2015). An Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry: A Report to the Congress of the United States of America. A Joint Publication of the Duke Center for Sustainability & Commerce and the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative at North Carolina State University.

Opportunities in the Emerging Bioeconomy

Jay S. Golden and Robert B. Handfield
July 25, 2014
This report explores the opportunities associated with the biobased economy (excluding fuel, food and feed) and finds that the biobased economy is, in fact, growing, and it offers great potential for increased job creation in numerous sectors across the U.S.