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Bio-plastics unsuitable for recycling

October 3rd, 2017

PRESS RELEASE

Bio-plastics unsuitable for recycling

It is not surprising that Plastic Recyclers Europe have found that recyclate from Southern European countries is causing defects and ruptures of the film. https://www.britishplastics.co.uk/materials/plastic-recyclers-europe-finds-degradable-plastics-from-sout/

This is because the governments of France, Spain, Italy, and now Greece have been persuaded by the manufacturers of starch and PLA plastics to prefer their product. The Recyclers’ analyses demonstrated that most of the defects in the film are coming from substances used in production of degradable plastics: i.e. starch, polylactide (PLA) and polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT).

Not only is this type of plastic incompatible with recycling, and 400% more expensive than ordinary plastic, but it does not deal with plastic waste in the environment. This is because it is tested to biodegrade in municipal composting, not in the open environment.  It does not even convert into compost, as EN13432 requires it to convert rapidly into CO2 gas.  What is the point of it?  Why use land and water resources to produce plastic, when conventional plastic resin is so inexpensive and readily available?  Oil is extracted from the ground to make fuels, and plastic is made from an unavoidable by-product of the refining process.  The same amount of oil would be extracted if plastic did not exist.

Governments and consumers should instead be preferring oxo-biodegradable plastic, which is designed to convert rapidly into biodegradable materials if it gets into the open environment.  Even better, it costs little or no more than conventional plastic, and is re-usable.  It has been proved to be recyclable without causing harm to the recycling process or the finished product.  See http://www.biodeg.org/recycling.html

Oxo-biodegradable plastic is actually mandatory in the UAE and Saudi Arabia

The Oxo-biodegradable Plastics Association – also commented on the above story, adding that the governments of France, Spain, Italy, and now Greece have been persuaded by the manufacturers of starch and PLA plastics to prefer their product. Not only is it incompatible with recycling, and 400% more expensive than ordinary plastic, but it does not achieve their objective to deal with plastic waste in the environment. This is because it is tested to biodegrade in municipal composting, not in the open environment.  It does not even convert into compost, as EN13432 requires it to convert rapidly into CO2 gas.

 

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