European Bioplastics Group Distances Itself from ‘Oxo-Degradables’

According to an article in Packaging News, The European trade association European Bioplastics has called for claims of biodegradability and compostability to be backed by international standards.

European Bioplastics said products that did not meet the standard requirements risked confusing the public, and it was important that items carrying the seedling logo, for compostable products, were not associated in anyway with oxo-biodegradable products.

Chairman Andy Sweetman said the environmental credentials of the bioplastic products were subject to close scrutiny. “If products that claim to be biodegradable or compostable are not proven to fulfil acknowledged standards, this is liable to impact negatively on our own members’ products, even though they fully comply,” he said.

A spokesperson for one manufacturer of products using oxo-degrabale additives said

“It’s nonsense for organisations to say that oxo-degradable plastics have to comply with composting standards,” he said.

Tell that to the composters who must spend hours (and hundreds of dollars) screening out partially degraded fragments of ‘partly’ degradable plastics from finished compost. It is a huge issue for the composting industry. In fact, one composter calculated that a significant portion of his expenses were caused by dealing with non-compostable plastic bags.

Click on the link to read the European Bioplastics position paper on oxo-biogradable plastics.