Technological watch

Position Paper: “Composting of packaging and products made from compostable or biodegradable plastics is no recycling” – Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V.

Initiated by Deutsche Umwelthilfe e. V. (DUH) and supported by Arbeitsgemeinschaft Stoffspezifische Abfallbehandlung e. V. (ASA), Bundesverband der Deutschen Entsorgungs-, Wasser- und Rohstoffwirtschaft e.V. (BDE), Bundesgütegemeinschaft Kompost e.V. (BGK), Federal Association for Secondary Raw Materials and Waste Management (BVSE), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Abfallwirtschaft e.V. (DGAW), Environmental Coalition on Standards (ECOS), Ecopreneur, European Recycling Industries’ Confideration (EURIC)AISBL, European Waste Management Association (FEAD), Verband der Humus- und Erdenwirtschaft e.V. (VHE), Verband Kommunaler Unternehmen e.V. (VKU), #Wirfuerbio-Campaign

The terms “biodegradable” or “compostable” describe the property of plastics to degrade under biological action and controlled conditions during composting, respectively. Packaging or Products labeled with these terms must meet certain requirements that are specified in standards such as EN 13432:2000 or EN 14995:2006. We like to note that biodegradable/compostable plastics could be made from renewable raw materials, but there are also many biobased plastics that are not degradable. This paper evaluates degradable/compostable plastics and does not assess non-degradable plastics from renewable sources.

You can find our full position paper here.

Publication date: 28/06/2022

Author: Marion Kupfer

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This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.