Open-Bio – Opening bio-based markets via standards, labelling and procurement (FP7)

Application of standards, certification schemes and labels are expected to have a positive effect on the development of the European bio-based product market. Good product information that presents correct claims to industry and public procurers is vital for the usage of these new products. Ensuring the sustainable sourcing of raw materials and the effective bio-content are important additional steps for building public confidence. Clear indication of their (comparative) functionality and the optimal possible end-of-life options, are an important basis for comparing bio-based products to existing alternatives. Finally, public acceptance can be promoted with clear and harmonized labels on products and packages.

The Open-Bio project aims at increasing the uptake speed of standards, labels and harmonized product information lists for bio-based products. It covers research and demonstration on direct and indirect biomass content methods, biodegradability and eco-toxicity tests. Practical solutions for stakeholders, lab and field tests on for instance sampling or capability of being recycled will be studied. The goal is to provide results for the adoption by European standards and product information lists. These form the basis for a database on bio-based products. A label will be developed in order to clearly distinguish bio-based products on the basis of the functionality laid down in standards. Additional research will investigate factors influencing the acceptance of bio-based products by consumers, businesses and public procurers. This will ensure that standards, labels and information lists address all relevant aspects for enabling the rapid market uptake of bio-based products. By participating in the Standardization Committee CEN/TC 411 on “Bio-based products” (its Secretariat being one of the partners), Open-Bio will directly support the standard development process.

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