There are several organizations in Europe that promote the use of biobased products, such as bioplastics, as part of their global climate change initiatives.
The Bureau de Normalisation des Plastiques et de la Plasturgie (BNPP) aims to promote the use of bioplastics and bring together experts in the field. BNPP also has a certification program for all bioplastic products in France.
DIN CERTCO (Germany)
DIN CERTCO is the certification organization of TUV Rheinland Group and DIN, which is the German Institute for Standardization. Its DIN-Geprüft Biobased certification scheme requires ASTM D6866 testing.
DIN CERTCO is also an approved certification body for conformity assessments under the Bio-based content certification scheme, which is managed by the Dutch Standards Institute (NEN) and requires EN 16640 testing for biobased carbon testing.
The European Bioplastics is an association representing industrial manufacturers, processors, and users of bioplastics and biodegradable polymers and their derivative products. The association aims to promote the growth and use of renewable raw materials in products and applications and supports innovations leading to lower environmental impact of durable and non-durable plastic products, among others.
Vinçotte provides more than 130 specialized inspection, monitoring, and certification services, analyses and tests for a wide range of applications including bioplastics. The OK Biobased certification system requires ASTM D6866 product testing.
Vinçotte is also recognized as a competent certification body for conformity assessments for the Bio-based content certification scheme, which is managed by the Dutch Standards Institute (NEN). The scheme requires Carbon-14 testing to be performed according to EN 16640.
Bio-based content certification scheme
The “Bio-based content certification scheme” is based on the European standard EN 16785-1:2015, which calculates the quantity of biomass content in a bio-based product using Carbon-14 testing and elemental analysis and allows manufacturers to promote biobased content data on the product label. Biobased carbon testing is done use the C-14 method detailed in EN 16640.
EU Ecolabel (EEL)
The EEL requires that lubricants contain a large fraction of biobased material. To be eligible for the EEL, the lubricant must have carbon content derived from renewable materials of at least 50% for hydraulic oils; 45% for greases; 70% for chain saw oils, concrete release agents, and other total loss lubricants; 50% for two-stroke oils; and 50% for industrial or marine gear oils.
German Packaging Directive
There is a regulation in Germany concerning bioplastic drink bottles as established in the 5th Amendment of the German Packaging Directive. This regulation took effect beginning January 2009.
Under this regulation, bottles “produced from at least 75% renewable resources” are exempt from the compulsory deposit for single-use drink bottles until December 31, 2012, but manufacturers must participate in a dual recycling system.
French Decree 2016-379 on single-use plastic bags
There is a law in France banning single-use plastic carrier bags thinner than 50 microns from July 2016. From January 2017, the only authorized bags will be those with a biobased content of at least 30 percent. This minimum biobased content will increase up to 40 percent in 2018, 50 percent in 2020, and 60 percent in 2025, as specified in the Decree 2016-379 published by the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy at the end of March 2016 as part of the new law on Energy Transition and Green Growth.
The decree states that the biobased content is the “percentage, expressed as a fraction of total carbon, of biobased materials contained in the bags, determined using the calculation method specified in the international standard in force for the determination of the biobased carbon content of plastics”. These standards are ISO 16620-2 and CEN/TS 16640 and the biobased content is measured using the Carbon-14 method.
Last Updated: December 2016