mercredi 22 juillet 2009

European Bioplastics Distances Itself from the "Oxo-biodegradable" Industry

European Bioplastics today published a position paper distancing itself from the so-called "oxo-biodegradable” industry. The paper sheds some light on the technology behind the so-called "oxo-biodegradable" industry, its failure to live up to international established and acknowledged standards that effectively substantiate claims on biodegradation and compostability, and the implications resulting from the different approaches.

Fragmentation Is Not the Same as Biodegradation

Fragmentation of "oxo-biodegradable" plastics is not the result of a biodegradation process but rather the result of a chemical reaction. The resulting fragments will remain in the environment. The fragmentation is not a solution to the waste problem, but rather the conversion of visible contaminants (the plastic waste) into invisible contaminants (the fragments). This is generally not considered as a feasible manner of solving the problem of plastic waste, as the behavioural problem of pollution by discarding waste in the environment could be even stimulated by these kinds of products.

An Answer to Littering or the Promotion of Littering ?

Oxo-fragmentable plastic products have been described as a solution to littering problems, whereby they supposedly fragment in the natural environment. In fact, such a concept risks increasing littering instead of reducing it. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) stresses that littering is a behavioural problem and must be resolved by raising environmental awareness and by the establishment of appropriate waste management systems. “Oxo-biodegradable” plastics are not specified as a solution by UNEP. Long standing efforts for the prevention of littering could actually be damaged by giving users of plastic items the impression that those items might vanish harmlessly if discarded in the environment.

The European Bioplastics position paper on "oxo-biodegradable” plastics can be read by clicking here.


Following this position paper, Symphony has made the following response.

Following this position paper, Canadian EPI Environmental Technologies has made the following response.

---Vous pouvez consulter ici le dossier sur les plastiques oxo-biodégradables

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