Bio Plastic Europe: Reuse, recycling and safety standards for bio-based plastics
To achieve closed resource cycles, there is an urgent need to invest in the production of bioplastics – plastics produced by biological (i.e non-fossil fuel) sources. To replace conventional plastics by more sustainable alternatives made in Europe, the project BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE develops innovative product design, using materials from renewable sources, for a range of products such as toys and packaging. The project also addresses the technical and economic barriers to bio-based plastics, including the potential impacts on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Safety of recycled materials when used for toys or packaging food stuffs receives specific attention, culminating in a Bioplastics Safety Protocol and standard-setting. This important innovation project supports the European Union Plastics Strategy.
Prospex Institute supports the research partners in engaging with key stakeholders for replication, policy-making and upscaling. Amongst others, we map relevant stakeholders in the area of plastic waste collection and processing, subsequently involving these stakeholders through participatory workshops and online engagement in order to collect and integrate their inputs in the analysis of plastic waste collection, recycling and littering. By integrating the views of the bodies responsible for European, ISO (International Organization for Standardisation) and industry standards as well as those of further relevant groups such as consumer associations, PI helps identify issues, challenges and opportunities for the creation and application of the bioplastics safety protocol. This dialogue between researchers and key stakeholders lays the groundwork for the protocol’s future adoption.