The Open-Bio project aims at increasing the uptake speed of standards, certification systems, labels and data sheets for bio-based products. Public acceptance of bio-based products is increased through ensuring, verifying and visualizing the sustainable sourcing of raw materials, the effective bio-content, the end-of-life options and clear indication of their (comparative) functionality in relation to the regular products. These positive effects will indirectly result in faster growth of the bio-based product industry and increased share of bio-based in the total use of final (consumer) products and intermediates. The Open-bio project promotes these positive effects by facilitating the development and optimization of standards, (ecological) labels and product information databases.
This Seventh Framework Programme project commenced in November 2013. It is partially a follow-up on a pending pre-normative project (KBBPPS), which had initiated the development of standardised methods to test bio-based products for various properties. The current project took these proposed standards forward and elaborated a number of new ones, considering aspects as diverse as the determination of the total bio-based content of a product, its likely biodegradation in sea water, its compostability and the extent to which it can be recycled. Standardised methods help manufacturers to substantiate their claims about the biobased content and related properties of their products. Several of those proposed by the two successive projects have been submitted to the European Committee for Standardization
(CEN) and the International Standardization Organisation (ISO). Four have been adopted, and several more are being finalised in cooperation with these bodies.
In addition to that, it is important that all properties and applications are clearly communicated to the users of bio-based products. Open-Bio has established guidelines for ecological labelling of and for the product information supplied together with bio-based products. A socio-economical investigation towards bio-based products acceptance in six EU Member States complements the work. In the end, the result is intended to lead to standards and policy rules at European level.