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The EU Taxonomy Regulation for Biobased Products

The EU Taxonomy Regulation Act (2020/852) for sustainable economic activities was created in July 2020 to have a common language and clear definition of “sustainable” when classifying investments. Sustainable investments in projects and activities in the EU is vital in order to meet the objectives in the EU Green Deal. In June 2023, the draft taxonomy regulation was approved in principle by the European Commission, while formal adoption in all the official languages of the EU will take place later on.

The EU Commission’s taxonomy aims to:

  • create security for investors;
  • protect private investors from greenwashing;
  • help companies to become more climate-friendly;
  • mitigate market fragmentation; and
  • help shift investments where they are most needed.

As the EU Taxonomy Regulation was created to address greenwashing by enabling more confidence in sustainable investments, all economic activity under the regulation must comply with at least one of six environmental objectives. The environmental objective most directly relevant to biobased products is the transition to a circular economy via manufacturing/ construction (mitigation) projects and human health (adaptation) initiatives.

Reebok biobased shoes
Photo Credit: Reebok

The first Delegated Act on climate change mitigation and adaptation (the ‘climate taxonomy’) was adopted on June 4, 2021, and established that a biobased plastic qualifies as contributing substantially to climate change mitigation if the following is met:

  • Biobased plastic is derived wholly or partly from renewable feedstock;
  • Biobased plastic life cycle emissions are lower than the life cycle emissions of fossil fuel plastics;
  • The agricultural biomass used complies with the criteria laid down in the Renewable Energy Directive.

While no specific test standards are listed in the taxonomy, final biobased products and plastics based on Carbon-14 content measurement could be labeled as “biobased” through the taxonomy, according to a white paper on biobased PLA from TotalEnergies Corbion.

Measuring Biobased Carbon

As biobased products evolve, third-party laboratory testing using ASTM D6866 measurements allow manufacturers to validate biobased carbon content. ISO 17025-accredited lab Beta Analytic offers biobased testing with results available in 7 business days or less. Contact Beta for more information.


2023. Commission Delegated Regulation supplementing Regulation (EU) 2020/852. European Commission.

2023. Planting the Future with PLA. Bie, de Francois; Ravard, Maelenn; La Scola, Paolo; Veras, Rui. TotalEnergies Corbion.

2022. EU Taxonomy Rules- Fostering sustainable climate change mitigation/adaptation. Campbell, Keshawna. One Trust Data Guidance.

Miami-based Beta Analytic is not affiliated with the European Commission.

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You might also be interested in these articles:
– Choosing a Qualified Lab for Biobased Content Testing
The U.S. Plastics Pact
– Biobased Testing under the USDA BioPreferred® Program (free webinar)

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This entry was posted on Monday, September 4th, 2023 and is filed under Biobased Products, Biobased Regulations .