European Bioplastics publishes communications guide

By Erin Voegele | September 12, 2012

European Bioplastics, the association serving the European bioplastics industry, recently published a 32-page communication guide, titled “Accountability Is Key: Environmental Communications Guide for Bioplastics.” According to the organization flawless claims are a must when it comes to the communication of environmentally beneficial properties of bioplastics.

Together with the bioplastics industry, we want to set a new benchmark for good environmental communication—all along the value chain,” said Andy Sweetman, chairman of European Bioplastics. The guide aims to preventing “greenwashing” from taking place in bioplastic marketing.

The guide outlines general, International Organization for Standardization (ISO) compliant guidelines for environmental communication and provides recommendations regarding relevant claims for bioplastics, including those related to biobased content, biodegradability, compostability, and carbon dioxide savings. It includes good and bad examples of claims in each area.

Some of the recommendations described in the guide encourage bioplastic marketers to ensure that all environmental claims are specific, accurate, relevant and truthful and that vague claims, such as “green,” “sustainable,” “environmentally friendly,” and the like are omitted from communication materials. European Bioplastics also encourages those communicating the benefits of bioplastics to substantiate their claims with sound data, and to make that data available to all interested parties. The organization also encourages those working with bioplastics to update all data and claims as appropriate.

According to European Bioplastics, the guide is designed to be especially useful to the packaging sector, where bioplastics are currently most commonly used. In addition to publishing the guide, the organization is offering workshops on environmental communications for bioplastics, the first of which will be held on Nov. 5 in Berlin. Additional information on the workshops can be found on the European Bioplastics website

A full copy of the guide can be downloaded from the European Bioplastics website.