Compostable Materials - A Sustainable Replacement Of Petroleum Based Packaging
3.3 Political Intervention
- "A Necessity"-
Today voluntary action to change packaging to a more sustainable alternative by companies is increasing rapidly. Consumer awareness has started to spread from the product to the packaging, making a “environmentally friendly” packaging a strong selling point. But according to Thomas Fischer of the Deutsche Umwelthilfe as told to DW “These voluntary actions from the business side are a positive step…but it's not nearly enough to change the bigger picture… also the government that has to take the most action.” (56)
Some countries, states and towns have issued regulation and even outlawed the usage of disposable plastic. France, Rwanda, Bangladesh and Kenya are examples of countries that have for example banned plastic bags. France has taken the perhaps most progressive and ambitious leap and has ruled for a new law forbidding plastic cutlery, cups and disposable tableware with a start in 2020.(57) The conventional plastic is meant to be replaced by “Home” compostable options. The is expected to generate a huge upswing on the demand of compostable materials, clearly noticeable in fresh market analysis, especially when other countries also are expected to follow France example.
But not everyone is happy; Eamon Bates, General Secretary of Pack2Go who represents major players in the packaging industry in Europe is very upset and claims that France breaks the “EU law on the free movement of goods” and hopes that other plastic manufacturers will take legal action against France and “if they don’t, we will”.(58) Pack2Go represents big companies such as Ilip, Dart and Dester, which all manufactures single-use food packaging made out of petroleum based plastic.(59)(60)(61)(62)