Consultation outcome

Standards for biodegradable, compostable and bio-based plastics: call for evidence

This consultation has concluded

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Detail of outcome

We received 85 responses to this call for evidence.

We are exploring some issues raised in the responses to this call for evidence in our consultation on an extended producer responsibility scheme for packaging as well as our consultation on introducing greater consistency for household and business recycling collections in England which will be published in due course.

We may introduce a ban on oxo-degradable plastics, subject to further consultation.

Original consultation


We're seeking evidence to help us develop standards for biodegradable, compostable and bio-based plastics, and an understanding of their environmental impacts.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

We want to identify gaps and provide expert advice on:

a) the overall sustainability of bio-based and biodegradable plastic products in comparison with those made from other materials. This could include all aspects of a product’s life-cycle and will help in assessing whether technical standards or other related options are suitable mechanisms to add value for such products

b) existing relevant plastic degradation standards and how, or if, they might be promoted without any adverse effects to the environment and disposal routes

c) the design and implementation of standards for biodegradable plastics to ensure that they fully biodegrade in a reasonable time-frame in specified environments

We welcome views from any interested party, but in particular:

  • environmental scientists interested in the movement of plastics and their interaction with natural ecosystems, working on biodegradable polymers, marine bio-degradative processes, and freshwater, marine, and terrestrial biologists
  • bioscience or biotechnology practitioners working on the development or application of bio-based or biodegradable plastics
  • standards authorities and those with standards committee experience
  • manufacturers, waste processors, and other stakeholders in industry
  • consumers and producers of biodegradable, compostable, and bio-based plastic products
  • certification authority experts, social scientists, NGOs, retailers and plastics re-processors

The Review of standards for biodegradable plastics produced by the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre is referenced within the Call for evidence.


Review of standards for biodegradable plastics: by the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre

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Published 22 July 2019
Last updated 8 April 2021 + show all updates
  1. Published the summary of responses.

  2. First published.