Product take-back policies (such as the German "Verpackungsverordnung") are widely discussed today. The general principle behind such kinds of economy is the principle of material loops ("Kreislaufwirtschaft"). For achieving this target, to different strategies exist: Industrial material loops by means of material recycling in contrast to "biospheric loops" by using renewable resources in combination with biological recovery methods. The latter strategy is regarded for the example of the use of biodegradable packaging materials. The article demonstrates options and limits of this strategy under environmental aspects, biodegradation properties of selected materials and functional properties of biodegradable packaging materials versus conventional materials. As improvement method for the - still insufficient - barrier coating by vacuum technical evaporation is shown in more detail.