EU plastics bag legislation ‘in state of confusion’: US Cereplast

24 September 2013 14:50  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--EU legislation on the use of disposable plastic bags is in “a state of confusion”, the CEO of US-based bioplastics firm Cereplast said on Tuesday.

Nevertheless, Cereplast remains optimistic about the longer-term EU bioplastics market, which could be worth $4bn (€3bn)/year, Frederic Scheer said.

Scheer said that the confusion arose after the UK in May filed an opposition with the EU, claiming that Italy was breaching EU internal market rules with a decree that imposed sanctions on bags made from traditional plastic.

The EU subsequently requested Italy not to enforce the legislation until 13 September in order to resolve the UK’s concerns. However, that date passed without a formal resolution or update from the EU.

"The passing of the 13 September without an update from the EU has left the EU market in a state of confusion in terms of what the status of the legislation is," Scheer said.

"Unfortunately, when dealing with a governing body, delays are to be expected,” he said.

However, Cereplast is confident that the issue will be resolved in the near-term, Scheer said.

Scheer added that EU Environmental Commissioner Janez Potocnik had said he intended to propose an EU directive extending a solution to the entire European community, similar to the Italian legislation. The directive would allow member states to place bans or taxes on single-use plastic bags in an effort to protect the environment.

"The potential market for bioplastic, if legislation is expanded to the entire EU community, could reach 1m tonnes/year or close to $4bn (€3bn) in potential revenue to be divided between the small number of companies operating in this sector of which Cereplast is a major participant,” Scheer said.

“We have already seen an increase in interest from companies located in France and Spain and we anticipate that a large portion of Europe will be subject to a pro-bioplastic directive in the coming years," he said.

$1 = €0.74)

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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