Connect with us

EU

#EUBP - Bioplastic materials' value propositions 'well reflected' in European Parliament's report

SHARE:

Published

on

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

The European Parliament’s report on the European Strategy for Plastics adopted by the plenary testifies to the increasing acknowledgement and endorsement of the value propositions of bioplastics. 

"We welcome the emphasis on the potential of bio-based plastics for feedstock differentiation in plastics production as well as the acknowledgment of the transformative role of innovative bio-based plastics already in the market," said European Bioplastics (EUBP) Managing Director Hasso von Pogrell.

"Equally important to us is the express call of the Parliament for defining clear criteria for the use of biodegradable and compostable plastics. With regard to food packaging applications, this will boost organic recycling and thus help realize a circular economy across Europe. In this context, it is also very encouraging that the Parliament is taking a clear position against oxo-degradable plastics," von Pogrell added.

Bioplastics offer two paradigmatic developments at opposite ends of products’ life cycles. On the one hand, bio-based plastics enable feedstock diversification and the gradual transition away from fossil and towards renewable feedstocks. This is an essential value proposition in the EU’s bid to gain independence from fossil resource imports and to significantly reduce CO2 emissions.

Advertisement

The other key innovation proposed by the bioplastics industry is biodegradability and compostability according to existing harmonized standard on industrial composting (EN 13432), that is, the conversion of plastic materials to water, biomass, and CO2 through microbial metabolization.

Applied to food contact applications such as biowaste collection bags or food packaging, biodegradability and compostability enables the optimization of separate bio-waste collection for organic recycling, thus preserving valuable secondary resources and establishing an important aspect of the circular economy.

In other environments, biodegradability can help to reduce plastic waste accumulation, for example in modern agriculture through the use of mulch films that are biodegradable in soil according to the standard EN 17033. In addition to this, there could also be selected future applications in marine contexts where items such as fishing gear are prone to being lost at sea unintentionally.

Advertisement

The report of the European Parliament on the Plastics Strategy ties in with earlier initiatives of the European Commission and statements of the Parliament with regard to provisions recently adopted in the Circular Economy Package as well as the Waste Framework Directive, the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.

"We see a more differentiated understanding evolving in the European institutions of what bioplastics are and how they can contribute to the circular bioeconomy," added von Pogrell. "Especially for the property of biodegradability and compostability, it is important to clarify what is expected in which specific environment, to see for which products the property is meaningful and if standards exist or still need to be elaborated."

With an eye to the draft Directive on marine litter and single-use plastics, von Pogrell notes that ‘biodegradability may be of relevance in marine environments in specific circumstances and for specific applications, but it clearly is no general remedy to the problem of littering or a reason for the excessive production of single-use items’. EUBP calls for a differentiated approach to marine biodegradability and urges the Commission and Parliament to further assess this specific point.

EUBP is looking forward to closely working together with the EU institutions and all relevant stakeholders in the current and upcoming discussions on single-use plastics and the soon to be published update of the EU Bioeconomy Strategy.

European Bioplastics (EUBP) is the European association representing the interests of the bioplastics industry along the entire value chain. Its members produce, refine, and distribute bioplastics i.e. plastics that are bio-based, biodegradable, or both. More information is available here.

Share this article:

Belgium

Clashes break out in Brussels in protests over coronavirus restrictions

Published

on

By

Police and protesters clashed in the streets of Brussels on Sunday (21 November) in demonstrations over government-imposed COVID-19 restrictions, with police firing water cannon and tear gas at demonstrators throwing rocks and smoke bombs, witnesses said, write Christian Levaux, Johnny Cotton and Sabine Siebold, Reuters.

About 35,000 people took part in demonstrations, police said, which began peacefully before violence broke out.

Protesters wearing black hoods threw stones at police as they advanced with water cannon at the main junction in front of the European Union Commission headquarters, Reuters journalists said.

Facing up to the police lines, the protesters held hands and chanted "freedom". One protester was carrying a placard reading "when tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes duty".

Advertisement
Police forces stand guard as people protest against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) measures near the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium November 21, 2021. REUTERS/Johanna Geron

Protesters also threw smoke bombs and fireworks, the newspaper Le Soir reported. The situation calmed down later, police said.

Belgium tightened its coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday (17 November), mandating wider use of masks and enforcing work from home, as cases rose in the country's fourth COVID-19 wave. Read more.

There have been 1,581,500 infections and 26,568 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the country of 11.7 million people since the pandemic began. Infections are increasing again, with 13,826 new cases reported on average each day.

Advertisement

Violence has also broken out in anti-restriction protests in Belgium's neighbour the Netherlands in recent days. On Friday, police in Rotterdam opened fire on a crowd.

Share this article:

Continue Reading

European Commission

NextGenerationEU: Commission receives payment request from Spain for €10 billion under the Recovery and Resilience Facility

Published

on

The Commission has received the first payment request from Spain under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) for a disbursement of €10 billion in financial support (net of pre-financing). Spain's overall recovery and resilience plan will be financed by €69.5 billion in grants. Payments under the RRF are performance-based and contingent on Spain implementing the investments and reforms outlined in its recovery and resilience plan. This first payment request relates to 52 milestones covering several reforms in the areas of sustainable mobility, energy efficiency, decarbonisation, connectivity, public administration, skills, education and social, labour and fiscal policy.

The Commission now has two months to assess the request. It will then send its preliminary assessment of Spain's fulfilment of the milestones and targets required for this payment to the Council's Economic and Financial Committee. More information on the process of the payment requests under the RRF is available in this Q&A. More information on the Spanish recovery and resilience plan is available here.

Share this article:

Continue Reading

Belgium

'When the Smurfs meet Monkey King'

Published

on

'When the Smurfs meet Monkey King' is a children's art exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Belgium.

The successful art exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Belgium in La Louvière, the birthplace of Surrealism in Belgium that ended on 24 October gave the opportunity to nearly 300 local primary and middle school students in just one week to depict their vision of friendship between China and Belgium.

On 17 October, during the opening ceremony, Françoise Ghiot, Laurent Wimlot, aldermen of La Louvière, and their guests from China and Belgium attended the event. Counsellor Yang Qing, wife of the Chinese Ambassador to Belgium, also recorded a video for the inauguration of the event.

Counsellor Yang Qing said in her speech that she admired the exhibition held in La Louvière. Using pure and innocent artistic perspective, extraordinary creativity and imagination, the children have well defined the cultural elements of both countries. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Belgium with children’s eyes, sincere feelings, those future ambassadors of friendship have expressed their visions of a better collaborative future between the two nations.

Advertisement

Ghiot said in her speech that she was very happy on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Belgium to see children’s paintings from China. The art exhibition opened a skylight of artistic exchange for local children.

This children's art exhibition was jointly curated by the city of La Louvière, the Nardone Gallery, and Yellow Vitamines. Through the LPGA (Little Painter Global International Art Exhibition), covering 40 cities and 500 aesthetic education training institutions in China, 5000 children’s work were collected and 200 were finally selected to focus on Belgium. With the innocent help of children's brushes, imagination and understanding, art and culture provided an ideal medium to understanding differences and strengthening the bond between China and Belgium.

Advertisement

Share this article:

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending