Guidelines for Sustainable Bioplastics

Introduction

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This guidance document proposes goals and a roadmap for improving the sustainability of bioplastics — defined for this document as plastics in which 100% of the carbon is derived from renewable agricultural and forestry resources. While these Guidelines focus on biobased plastic replacements for fossil-fuel-based plastics, many of the principles apply to other biobased materials as well.

The word “sustainability” in this document encompasses issues of environment, health, and social and economic justice, as well as material resource sustainability across the entire life cycle of bioplastics (from the production of their feedstocks to the management of the bioplastic product after its intended use).

This document represents the collective wisdom of a wide range of organizations that are engaged in addressing the potential benefits and challenges of bioplastics. Individuals and their organizations that have contributed to the development of this document are listed at the begining of this document.

This is a working draft. It will continue to be revised as our understanding of the emerging industry evolves. Refer to this website for the most up-to-date version.

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