Relevance of biodegradable and compostable consumer plastic products and packaging in a circular economy

Relevance of Biodegradable and Compostable Consumer Plastic Products and Packaging in a Circular Economy

Eunomia Research & Consulting Ltd
Publication Date
March, 2020
Language for original content

In 2015, the European Commission adopted the Circular Economy Action Plan to help stimulate the transition towards circular economy. The growing number of plastic products and packaging marketed as ‘biodegradable’ or ‘(home) compostable’ raises the question of the extent to which biodegradability and compostability of plastic is beneficial in the context of the transition towards a circular economy.

The study assesses this question, identifying conditions in which (home) compostability of products could be of added value, compared to reuse and other forms of recovery. The results indicate weak evidence in favour of beneficial agronomics associated with compostable plastic material. Choices of materials for products and packaging should prioritise recyclability over compostability.