Knowledge for policy
Study 12 March 2019

Environmental impact assessments of innovative bio-based products

The aim of the study “Environmental impact assessments of innovative bio-based products” is to provide science-based facts and evidences on the environmental impacts of innovative bio-based products and mostly plastic products compared to petrochemical counterparts. Seven cradle-to-grave Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) case studies were carried out covering three major commercialised bio-based polymers, namely i) bio-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET; “Beverage Bottles”), ii) polylactide acid (PLA; “Single-use cups”, “Single-use Cutlery”, “Packaging films”) and iii) starch plastics (“Clips”,... “Mulch films” and “Carrier bags”). Primary data are gathered from industry based on the real supply chain. This also includes the biomass used by the industry presently. The full report (“Environmental impact assessment of innovative bio-based products”) covers all methodological issues, the seven LCA case studies and a final section of combined observations and closing remarks.