Defining plastic-like materials: Controversy on the Single-Use Plastics Directive
On 3 July, the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive (SUPD) is planned to be implemented in Finland. The plastic definition in SUPD has confusing implications for bio-based materials. Therefore, FinnCERES has assembled a short document to provide clarifications on terminology and to discuss advantages and disadvantages of certain materials. The document aims to support EU-level policy-making.
The definition of plastic in the SUPDhas raised important questions that should be addressed before subsequent policies and legislation regarding materials, especially bio-based and biosynthetic, are made. A major issue is the controversial definition of plastics. If applied to future legislation on, for example, packaging materials or textiles, we risk losing the opportunity to sustainably utilize bio-based materials in these application areas. Moreover, at worst, we risk closing doors for current and future innovative research and potential new sustainable solutions that can contribute to some of the most pressing environmental challenges that face us.