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Clear standards for bio-based products

Published: 12-11-2015

Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research investigates standards for biobased products as part of the Open-Bio project commissioned by the EU. There is some ambiguity concerning bio-based products which frequently have different functional properties and end-of-life options from petroleum-based products.

To develop and improve these standards, however, misconceptions will first have to be identified and eliminated. Clear standards will help to remove barriers to the introduction of bio-based products on the market.

All sorts of bio-based products are being developed at present: not only bio-based paint, adhesives and solvents, but also bioplastics and bio-packaging, bio-based fertilisers and additives. Clearly defined standards are lacking for most of these new, bio-based product groups.

Communication guidelines
Communication on the properties and applications of bio-based products is another crucial spearhead. LEI Wageningen UR is also researching consumer communication and social acceptance within the Open-Bio project; other research partners are concentrating on communication with the business community and government bodies.

The aim is to develop guidelines for labelling bio-based products and for the information accompanying bio-based products. In other words, the standards must be translated to suit the needs of specific target groups. The outcome of this research will deliver standards and policy lines at European level.

Global standard
Various knowledge and research institutes are collaborating on the project, including ECN, FBR and LEI in the Netherlands, CNRS (France), the Nova-Institut (Germany) and the universities of Athens, Berlin and York. A large number of businesses are also involved, inside and outside Europe. Open-Bio hopes that, with this wide range of partners, it will be able to achieve worldwide harmonization of testing methods. It is with this aim in mind that various workshops in the next few years will be organized.

More on the Open Bio project