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Issue 06/2017

  • Text
  • Bioplastics
  • Biobased
  • Materials
  • Products
  • Plastics
  • Packaging
  • Biodegradable
  • Sustainable
  • Compostable
  • Renewable
bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1706

Opinion 6. Biobased

Opinion 6. Biobased polymers are an important strategic route since a path change away from fossil raw materials to renewable sources will be unavoidable in the long term. Regardless of biodegradation this route should be followed in any case. Another long-term option could be the material use of carbon dioxide using regenerative energies for its extraction. 7. Multiple uses and improved end-of-life management are necessary for all types of shop-ping bags. 8. A general ban on plastic bags is rather to be rejected. Instead, strategies should be pursued promoting careful and responsible use. These include, for example, measures of environmental education, deposit systems or fees for plastic bags in shops. The latter has al-ready been implemented successfully in Germany following the voluntary agreement of the Federal Ministry for the Environment and the Trade Association of Germany (HDE). 9. Furthermore, any means that facilitate plastic recycling, such as collecting systems, which facilitates an efficient separate collection, or an abandoning of multi-material systems, should be reasonably accompanied by political and regulatory measures. These facts and recommendations form the basis for technical and social innovations which are developed by Fraunhofer UMSICHT. Plastic bag consumption – examples from around the world The per capita consumption of plastic bags varies from country to country. In 2010 Bulgaria led the EU member states with 421 bags, followed by the Czech Republic (297), Greece (269), Ro-mania (252) and Italy (204). Germany already was at the lower end of the range with 71 bags per capita in 2010. According to most recent figures, it has reduced its consumption further down to 45 bags per capita per year [1]. Less plastic bags were only used in Luxemburg (20) and Ireland (18) – see the following figure. The low value for Ireland can be explained by a former introduction of a fee for plastic bags. Some non-European countries have already imposed complete bans. In Bangladesh plastic bags were first banned in the capital city of Dhaka in 2001 and subsequently prohibited throughout the country. The reason was that they were partly made responsible for blocking wastewater sys-tems leading to floodings in 1988 and 1998. In Morocco, plastic bags have been banned com-pletely since 1 July 2016. The country previously ranked second behind the USA with an annual consumption of 900 bags per capita and 26 billion in total. Ultrathin plastic bags are prohibited in China, Kenia, Rwanda and South Africa. In the city of San Francisco plastic bags also got banned. Furthermore, in China plastic bags are charged for, as well as in Washington D. C. and Los Angeles. Some further countries also consider implementing laws because farm animals have increasingly started to feed on plastic bags and as a consequence have suffered from health problems. Sources: [1, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18]. References: [1] GVM (2017): Ein Drittel weniger Kunststofftüten in Deutschland - Presseinformation des Handelsverband Deutschland: Datengrundlage (GVM - Gesellschaft für Verpackungs-marktforschung). Last time checked: 2017, June 28. https://www.einzelhandel.de/index.php/ presse/aktuellemeldungen/item/127648-ein-drittel-wenigerkunststofft%C3%BCten-in-deutschland [2] Eunomia (2016): Plastics in the Marine Environment. Bristol, United Kingdom [3] Spiegel Online (2017): Müll im Meer: Wal hatte 30 Plastiktüten im Magen. Last time checked: 2017, April 28. http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/ natur/muell-im-meer-wal-hatte-30-plastiktueten-im-magen-a-1132942. html [4] Ocean Conservancy (2016): 30th Anniversary International Coastal Cleanup: Annual Re-port. Washington DC [5] Utopia (2016): Verpackungsfreier Supermarkt: einkaufen ohne Verpackung. Last time checked: 2017, April 28. http://www.utopia.de/ magazin/plastikfreie-laeden [6] IBP - Interkulturelle Begegnungsprojekte e.V. (2015): Unplastic Billerback. Last time checked: 2017, April 28. http://www.unplasticbillerbeck.de/ [7] Süddeutsche Zeitung (2016): Rewe stoppt Verkauf von Plastiktüten. Last time checked: 2017, April 28. http://www.sueddeutsche.de/wirtschaft/ plastikmuell-rewe-stoppt-verkauf-von-plastiktueten-1.3014599 [8] Presseportal (2016): Lidl Deutschland spart ab 2017 jährlich 3500 Tonnen Plastik: Lidl nimmt bundesweit Standard-Plastiktüte aus dem Sortiment und setzt auf Mehrfachver-wendung seines erweiterten Tragetaschensortiments. Last time checked: 2017, April 28. http://www. presseportal.de/pm/58227/3434594 [9] LIDL Deutschland (2017): Tragetaschensortiment - Lidl Deutschland - lidl.de. Last time checked: 2017, April 28. https://www.lidl.de/de/ tragetaschensortiment/s3219 [10] Zeit Online (2013): Umweltverschmutzung: EU will Plastiktüten- Verbrauch begrenzen. Last time checked: 2017, April 28. http://www.zeit. de/wissen/umwelt/2013-11/plastik-eu-kommission [11] Environment Agency (2011): Evidence. Life cycle assessment of supermarket carrierbags: a review of the bags available in 2006. Report: SC030148. Bristol: Environment Agency (En-vironment Agency science report) [12] Fraunhofer-Institut für Umwelt-, Sicherheits- und Energietechnik UMSICHT (2015): Fraun-hofer UMSICHT nimmt Stellung: Thema Mikroplastik. https://www.umsicht.fraunhofer.de/de/nachhaltigkeit/agnachhaltigkeit/umsicht-nimmt-stellung/mikroplastik.html [13] European Commission - DG Environment (2011): Assessment of impacts of options to reduce the use of single-use plastic carrier bags: Final report [14] Umweltbundesamt (2013): Plastiktüten. UBA: Dessau-Roßlau [15] Doyle, T.; O’Hagen, A. M. (2013): The Irish ‘Plastic Bag Levy’: A mechanism to reduce marine litter? (Marine Litter in Eurpean Seas) [16] Süddeutsche Zeitung (2016): Marokko: Kommt nicht in die Tüte. Last time checked: 2017, April 28. http://www.sueddeutsche.de/panorama/ marokko-kommt-nicht-in-die-tuete- 1.3104571 [17] Deutschlandfunk (2016): Energiewende-Gesetz: Frankreich will Plastiktüten teilweise ver-bieten. Last time checked: 2017, April 28. http://www.deutschlandfunk.de/energiewende-gesetz-frankreich-willplastiktueten-teilweise.697.de.html?dram:article_id=358804 [18] Earth Policy Institute (2014): Plastic Bags Fact Sheet tinyurl.com/postion-bags 54 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12

Brand Owner Brand owner’s perspectives What is driving investment in biobased materials. Respondents said growth factors for biobased materials include consumer demand for environmentally-friendly products (65 %) and packaging (46 %), as well as brands wanting to improve public image (48 %). On this page our readers usually find a statement from a brand owner. This issue, however, we give ourselves a break. Not because we are lazy, but simply because our friends at Sustainability Consult did such a good job with their survey on #WhatBrandsWant. In this issue we publish an excerpt from their report. Sustainability Consult, the leading bioeconomy communications and PR consultancy (Brussels, Belgium) realised that they (just like we) often hear the same questions: • How can biomaterials manufacturers make it easier for brands to engage? • What can the biobased industry do to encourage brands to invest in biobased materials? • How do biobased solutions fit in with brand sustainability goals? • How can brands help the biobased industry to grow? So they decided to ask over 40 brands across different sectors ranging from apparel, footwear & textiles, to food & beverages and personal care. The results offer an insight on the drivers and barriers affecting market growth in the biobased materials sector. Here are some of their findings: Level of knowledge Respondents from brands were informed about biobased materials, with 59 % claiming they were informed, 39 % well-informed and only 2 % not informed about biobased materials. This trend was also reflected by those brands not currently using biobased solutions. not informed well informed informed What information are brands exactly looking for? To evaluate whether to adopt biobased materials, 63 % said they need more information from suppliers on pricing, 61 % on availability and 57 % on performance. peformance availability pricing 0% 0% 10% 20% 40% 60% 80% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% improve their public image Consumer demand for environmentally-friendly packaging Consumer demand for environmentally-friendly products What are the biggest barriers? 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Among the brands, 87 % indicated cost as the biggest barrier to widespread uptake of biobased materials. Performance (42 %) and security of supply (37 %) were identified as the next biggest barriers. security of supply performance cost 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Do brands owners communicate externally on their use of biobased materials? Communicating openly on their use of biobased materials demonstrates confidence in biobased technology and products. 71 % of the respondents do communicate externally, whereas 27 % said they don’t. do not commuexternaly nicate externaly communicate 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% What growth rates are expected for biobased materials? Most respondents expect the market to experience moderate growth (61 %), although brands already using biobased materials are more optimistic, with 43 % suggesting there will be strong market growth. In their comments, respondents highlighted the price of oil, lengthy product planning cycles, end-of-life options and legislative changes as having a strong impact on the evolution of the market. Perhaps more surprisingly, brands not using biobased materials also expect moderate growth. This is a positive sign of market development for biomaterials producers. MT The complete report can be downloaded for free at: www.bioplasticsmagazine.de/201706/whatbrandswant.pdf bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/17] Vol. 12 55

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