Potocnik Points to “Reservations” About Biodegradables

13.12.2013 -

Reporting on a European Commission green paper and public consultation on plastics waste in the environment launched in March of this year, Janez Potocnik, European commissioner for the environment, said "many decision makers harbor reservations" about certain aspects of biodegradable plastics.

The concerns, he said, pertain in particular to labeling requirements and the impact on the overall quality of plastics. In response the consultation, Potocnik said the Commission had received 270 responses from public authorities, industry participants in the consultation process as well as NGOs.

In a video message to the European Bioplastics Conference held recently in Berlin, Germany, the commissioner said many participants believed the differences between biodegradable and conventionally produced plastics "should be clearly visible to the consumer."

Potocnik praised the regional plan on management of marine litter adopted by the Conference of Parties of the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean at its on Dec. 6 meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, calling it "an important step" toward achieving the significant reduction by 2025 agreed at the Rio +20 summit. He said the actions pledged will also help EU member states to meet their obligations to achieve "good environmental status" by 2020 under the EU's Marine Strategy Framework Directive.