Rethink "biodegradable" bioplastics

Plastic tree found on a beach

Bioplastics have been offered by some as a 'biodegradable' alternative to traditional plastic. However, the use of this material is challenging with most waste management systems. Rethink Plastic is an alliance of leading NGOs offering technical and policy expertise – they have written a handy guide to bioplastics.

Only 40% of bio-plastics are designed to be biodegradable.



  • If it is one of the types of bio plastic that is biodegradable, it may be able to be processed through an industrial composter but this relies on correct disposal through specific channels and the availability of facilities
  • Using the guide helps companies choose more sustainable alternatives instead of bioplastic


  • Only 40% of bio-plastics are designed to be biodegradable
  • Bio-plastics rely on limited land resources and chemical-intensive agriculture
  • Does not tackle single-use or consumption

Making a difference

The Rethink Plastic alliance represents thousands of active groups, supporters and citizens in every EU Member State, and are part of the global Break Free From Plastic movement, along with over 1,200 NGOs and millions of citizens worldwide.

There are hundreds of other ways to solve plastic pollution