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Europe: Carbon price tags needed on bioplastics, says association


European Bioplastics is supporting initiatives to develop global carbon-pricing mechanisms and implement them effectively.

It says these measures would be needed to incorporate the external costs of climate change into product prices and enable the development of greenhouse gas saving materials like bioplastics.

Putting a price tag on fossil carbon has been one of the major commitments that were discussed at the COP21 climate conference in Paris.

This measure is designed to counter the return of cheap fossil feedstock like coal, oil or gas and the resulting increase in carbon dioxide emissions.

“Oil prices of less than US$50 per barrel do not reflect the burden on the environment,” says chairman François de Bie.

“A carbon pricing mechanism like taxation or emissions trading schemes are required to level out the negative effects of high volatility.”

“The situation, as we see it today, may prevent protagonists from increasing investments in renewable chemicals and polymers,”

The association says bioplastics can help to reduce sector specific greenhouse gas emissions by 50% or more, as revealed by life cycle analysis.

The global production capacity was predicted to more than triple from around 1.7 million tons in 2014 to approximately 7.8 million tons in 2019.

Building up bioplastics technology takes multi-billion euro long-term investments and requires adequate investor security.