Proceedings of The 7th World Conference on Biodegradable Polymers & Plastics organized by the European Degradable Polymer Society in conjunction with the Bioenvironmental Polymer Society and the Biodegradale Plastics Society, under the auspices of ICS-UNIDO (Italy) and INSTM Consortium (Italy) and under the patronage of IUPAC - International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (USA) and Ministero dell'Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio (Italy), held in Tirrenia (Pisa), Italy, on June 4-8, 2002. Synthetic and semi-synthetic polymeric materials were originally developed for their durability and resistance to all forms of degradation including biodegradation. Such materials are currently widely accepted because of their ease of processability and amenability to provide a large variety of cost effective items that help to enhance the comfort and quality of life in the modern industrial society. However, this widespread utilization of plastics has contributed to a serious plastic waste burden, and the expectation for the 21st century is for an increased demand for polymeric material. This volume focuses on a more rational utilization of resources in the fabrication, consumption and disposal of plastic items, specifically: -Environmentally Degradable Polymeric Materials (EDPs); -Water-soluble/Swellable Biodegradable Polymers; -EDPs from Renewable Resources; -Biopolymers; -Bioresorbable Materials for Biomedical Applications; -Biorelated Polymers; -Standards and Regulations on EDPs.