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The UK Government wants to develop standards for biodegradable, compostable and bio-based plastics. It is seeking evidence and an understanding of their environmental impacts.
Editorial office / London

In an open consultation, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs are asking expert advice on:

  1. the overall sustainability of bio-based and biodegradable plastic products in comparison with those made from other materials. This could include all aspects of a product’s life-cycle and will help in assessing whether technical standards or other related options are suitable mechanisms to add value for such products;
  2. existing relevant plastic degradation standards and how, or if, they might be promoted without any adverse effects to the environment and disposal routes;
  3. the design and implementation of standards for biodegradable plastics to ensure that they fully biodegrade in a reasonable time-frame in specified environments.

Views from any interested party are welcome, but in particular:

  • environmental scientists interested in the movement of plastics and their interaction with natural ecosystems, working on biodegradable polymers, marine bio-degradative processes, and freshwater, marine, and terrestrial biologists;
  • bioscience or biotechnology practitioners working on the development or application of bio-based or biodegradable plastics;
  • standards authorities and those with standards committee experience;
  • manufacturers, waste processors, and other stakeholders in industry;
  • consumers and producers of biodegradable, compostable, and bio-based plastic products;
  • certification authority experts, social scientists, NGOs, retailers and plastics re-processors.

More information can be found on the UK Government website. The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 14 October 2019.