Consumers were aware but they fell on deaf ears, establishment knew it but it was easier to stay the same, countries knew the problem but they started too late to take action; the plastic bags have their days counted and, in Spain specifically, this date is 1 March of 2018.
In this way, European countries are adopting the Directive 2015/720 and they are incorporating it into their law. The measures to be taken by Member States may involve the use of economic instruments such as pricing, taxes and levies, which have proved particularly effective in reducing the consumption of plastic carrier bags, and marketing restrictions.
The measures shall include either or both of the following:
- The adoption of measures ensuring that the annual consumption level does not exceed 90 lightweight plastic carrier bags per person by 31 December of 2019 and 40 bags per person by 31 December 2025, or equivalent targets set in weight. Very lightweight plastic carrier bags may be excluded from national consumption objectives.
- The adoption of instruments ensuring that, by 31 December 2018, lightweight plastic carrier bags are not provided free of charge at the point of sale of goods or products, unless equally effective instruments are implemented. Very lightweight plastic bags may be excluded from those measures.
And there is another deadline. Since January 1 of 2020, it is totally forbidden to deliver plastic bags to consumers at any point of sale. There is only one exception to this rule, biodegradable plastic bags.
Within ecological language there are many terms that, even being different between them, in ears of someone who is not very involved in the matter, they may seem to mean the same. Therefore it is important to differentiate between degradable, biodegradable and biobased.
The word “degradable” only means that something breaks. Technically, all the plastic is degradable, it can be broken or in a very fine powder. In the elaboration of some plastics additives are added that accelerate the process of decomposition, breakage or degradation under certain conditions. These methods only make the plastic appear to disappear, they become an “invisible contamination”
When some is biodegradable it means that it is degradable, but with a very important nuance: it can be degraded by the metabolism of microorganisms. Once the small pieces of plastic are digested material becomes biomass, CO2, water and minerals
A biobased plastic is one whose raw material is renewable and natural. Currently, biobased plastics are obtain from different materials such as potato, corn, sugar, starch, protein, cellulose, lignin, biofat or oils.
In the world 150 billion tons of plastic are produced per year. Of these, about half of them end up in the garbage, in the sea and on land, and only a minimum part is recycled and reused. In the case of Spain, we consume an average of 238 bags per person per year. The objective of the European Union is by 31 December of 2019 the consumption decrease in 90 bags per person/year and in 25 December of 2025 not exceeds 40 bags per person/year. Moreover, in 1 January of 2020 the sale, import and export of degradable bags and containers will be prohibited.
Coverpan, as one of the main agents in the packaging sector, have been taking measures for a long time, being aware of the unsustainability situation. One of our strongest bets is the Film Bio & CV-BIO. A new generation of biodegradable packaging manufactured with materials 100% natural and renewable based on corn and potatoes, it helps to reduction the greenhouse gases and the huge amounts of water wasted in the manufacture of plastics. In this way, our Film Bio fits into the category of Biodegradable and Biobased plastic , one of the most natural alternatives that can be found on the market today.
It has the same advantages as traditional plastic containers and can be customized. The Film Bio is available from 20 to 50 microns and in different widths of reel. On the other hand, the CV-BIO can be found with window or without it, and on brown or white paper. Both can be printed with any type of design.
Thanks to Film Bio, the carbon footprint is considerably reduced and a completely renewable life cycle is created. Once this material has fulfilled its function as packaging, the complete decomposition only lasts 6 months to become CO2, water and fertilizer for the land. It can also be decomposed by mechanical, chemical, and even incinerated, without losing its Bio and ecological qualities.
The use of Bio materials is increasingly widespread in consumers and companies, thanks to the increase in awareness of the environment and the obstacles that states are placing on materials that are not respectful with the environment. Fortunately, we are heading towards a world where production and consumption can coexist with the environment and not harm it.
“The plastic bags take seconds to be manufactured, it has a useful life of minutes, but it takes hundreds of years to disappear”