Cereplast accepting comments on bioplastics symbol usage

By Erin Voegele | August 02, 2011

California-based bioplastic producer Cereplast Inc. is hosting an online forum allowing members of the public to engage in the development of proposed usage guidelines for its new bioplastics symbol, which was selected this spring via the company’s “Make Your Mark” competition. According to Cereplast, the goal of the symbol is to help consumers identify products and packaging made from bioplastics.

Nicole Cardi, Cereplast’s vice president of marketing and communications, said that the online comment period will be completed in two phases. Comments are currently being accepted on the proposed usage guidelines through Aug. 12. Following the close of the comment period, Cereplast will post a new draft of the guidelines online and open up a second comment period. The bioplastics symbol is expected be available for use by Nov. 15.

According to Cardi, the majority of comments Cereplast has received so far have come from members of the bioplastic industry. “A number of people within the industry are actually submitting their feedback privately, so not all of the comments will be on the website,” she continued, noting that Cereplast is expecting that more members of the public will weigh in on the proposed guidelines in the following weeks.

Cardi also said that one of the most important topics of feedback is defining what type of material will qualify as a bioplastic for the purpose of symbol licensing. In other words, the members of the public and representatives of industry are expected to provide feedback on the appropriate minimum biobased content level of plastic material that can be labeled with the symbol.

“This symbol was created by Cereplast to raise awareness of bioplastics for use in consumer products, from everyday items such as disposable food containers to larger items such as children’s accessories,” said Frederic Scheer, chairman and CEO of Cereplast.  “By increasing education around the benefits of bioplastics, more consumers will realize they have the choice to ask retailers for options that help protect and preserve the environment. We are pleased to open the discussion on usage guidelines to the general public, as it is everyday consumers who will be using this symbol as a guide to make purchasing decisions.  Cereplast is committed to ensuring unbiased oversight of the bioplastics symbol; as such we will appoint an independent entity to oversee the usage of the symbol by manufacturers globally.”

 According to Cardi, she is excited about the response Cereplast has received from the industry so far. “I think that there has been a lot of positive and constructive feedback,” she said. “That makes me feel good about this whole process, and I think it will be really exciting to start rolling out the symbol to the industry and starting to see it on products.”