The EU’s push for biodagradable polymers in mineral fertilizers
by Leondina Della Pietra, Senior Scientific Officer, Fertilizers Europe
The EU Commission launched the Circular Economy Action Plan early in 2018. Among the main priorities of the plan is the reduction of plastic use and waste, thus the improvement of the re-use and recycle of plastics, at both business and consumer level, remain the major target for the upcoming years. In 2017, the EU Commission put plastics production and use high on the agenda by setting the goal of ensuring that all plastic packaging is recyclable by 2030.
Reduction of microplastics is part of this scheme. Microplastics, are pieces of plastic less than 5mm long, accumulate in the sea and due to their small size, the marine life can easily ingest them. Microplastics have been also found in the air, drinking water and foods such as salt or honey, with potential impacts on human health. In total, it is estimated that between 75,000 and 300,000 tonnes of microplastics are released into the environment each year in the EU. In this framework, the EU Commission has put forward a proposal to restrict some intentionally added microplastics in products, including polymers used in fertilizers, by 2021.
Fertilizers Europe is cooperating closely with EU institutions in the process of developing guidance and the biodegradability criteria.
Full article published on Fertilizer Focus Magazine.