A number of existing and emerging EU policies and initiatives to green plastics, packaging, fuels and more through plant-based sources are at risk of backfiring with big social and environmental impacts, according to a new report from Friends of the Earth Europe.
Substituting fossil-based products for plant-based ones is the core idea of the 'bioeconomy', which is promoted in the EU through renewable energy policies and a specific Bioeconomy Strategy, and is likely to be included in future legislation on plastics and packaging. 
Governments and industry are promoting the bioeconomy, with the promised benefit of reduced reliance on fossil fuels. However the report reveals that it can come at a high environmental and social price:
Meadhbh Bolger, resource justice campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe said "Rumours of the greenness of the bioeconomy have been greatly exaggerated. Simply substituting where our plastics or fuels come from is in no way a magic bullet that will clean up pollution, slash greenhouse gas emissions and cut our resource overuse. Far from it – switching to biofuels and bioplastics means eating up vast swaths of land, primarily outside the EU, with damaging impacts on the ground. The only sure-fire way to fix these problems is to drastically cut our use of resources in the first place."
 The European Commission is set to update its Bioeconomy Strategy in 2017, and is working on a new Plastics Strategy – these documents could pave the way for the bioeconomy to be integrated further into other policy processes. The European Parliament may advocate for measures promoting bio-based packaging within the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.