Guidelines for Sustainable Bioplastics


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The goal of this document is to encourage the development and use of bioplastics that are healthy and sustainable. To be truly sustainable requires attention to a number of key principles:

  • Reduce the amount of material, product and packaging used
  • Eliminate single-use products that can be neither recycled nor composted
  • Avoid fossil-fuel-based materials in favor of materials and products derived from renewable feedstocks
  • Address sustainability across the life cycle of the material: the growing of the feedstock, manufacturing of the polymer and final product, using the product and reclaiming the material at the end of its original use.
  • Define sustainability to include issues of environment, health, and social and economic justice.
  • Design and use products that are reusable, recyclable or compostable.
  • Encourage agricultural systems that are sustainable for farmers, the environment, farm workers’ and communities.
  • Support small- to mid-sized family owned and operated farms.
  • Do not use genetically modified organisms in agricultural feedstock production.
  • Use chemicals that meet the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry.
  • Avoid engineered nanomaterials and chemicals that have not been tested for environmental and public health effects across the life cycle.
  • Decentralize production and buy local to reduce the environmental footprint of production, transportation, and consumption.