Symphony Environmental
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Symphony Press Release – Oxo-biodegradable Plastic Facts

November 21st, 2017

Symphony Environmental Ltd has published the following press release in response to the recent Ellen MacArthur Foundation report regarding oxo-biodegradable Plastic.


The Facts – Oxo-biodegradable Plastic

Middle-East leads the world in reducing plastic pollution – without the need to tax


Oxo-biodegradable plastic (OBP) technology is proven science which has been studied, tested and commercially used for more than 3 decades. It does not change the principles of minimisation, reuse or recycling and does not leave microplastics or toxins as a problem for future generations.

OBP – The Facts

  • growing legislation requiring OBP
  • compatible with most types of plastic packaging
  • can be recycled and made with recyclate
  • harmlessly biodegrades in the open environment on land or sea
  • demonstrates clear benefits in Life Cycle Assessments
  • can be made right now in existing factories at little or no extra cost

OBP is an upgrade to conventional plastic, achieved by adding d2w at only 1%.  It is a major improvement as plastic packaging is currently indispensable in everyday life.  OBP technology tackles the ONLY environmental issue relating to plastic: namely Litter.

The world uses approximately 320 million tons of plastic each year, and most of this could be made now with d2w® OBP technology.   If this were done, the damage caused by plastic leakage into the environment could be gradually and safely resolved.  Symphony is perfectly aligned with the principles of reducing, reusing and recycling plastic, and OBP offers an insurance that if plastic waste does escape into the open environment, it will not remain there for decades.

Growing legislation that requires oxo-biodegradable

Saudi Arabia is the most recent country to follow the trend to reduce its plastic pollution by requiring all short-term items to be made with oxo-biodegradable plastic technology, but the UK, the US and Europe are being held back by opposition from the “bioplastics” companies, by confusion in the recycling industry, and by the reluctance of the producers of plastic products to change their ways

Saudi Arabia is estimated to produce 21.6 million tonnes of plastic each year. Large supermarket groups in the region have successfully used OBP for more than 7 years, and none of their OBP products will be left in the environment as a problem for future generations.

We encourage other Governments to follow this example by using innovation to reduce the amount of plastic litter in the environment. Taxation will not solve the problem, but a low cost, non-disruptive solution is available and can make a positive contribution

 The Oxo-biodegradable Plastics Association (OPA) Statement          

The OPA is a not for profit association, established almost 10 years ago with support from some of the world’s top scientists and experts in the field of oxo-biodegradable plastic technology.  It has more than 1600 members worldwide, and exists to encourage a better understanding of OBP technology and its role in protecting the environment.   

We support the OPA statement in response to the recent Ellen MacArthur report, and share their disappointment that the foundation, who are not experts on OBP, have relied on a selective review of the literature to publish such a heavily biased and ill-informed document.  In addition, they have allowed themselves to be a promoter for the bioplastics companies, who have been trying to damage the OBP industry for the last ten years.

The MacArthur report refers to several countries in the Middle-East, Africa and Asia who are promoting or requiring the use of OBP, they should have more respect for the experts in those countries who have made their own assessment of the technology and successfully used it for a number of years.  The legislation means that some companies are unable to export to those countries unless their plastic packaging is made from OBP. Instead of trying to resist this change, these companies should take the opportunity to upgrade their plastics at little or no extra cost.

Symphony is a British Public Company quoted on the AIM market (SYM – LON)   of the London Stock Exchange, who have been developing and supplying oxo-biodegradable plastic under the d2w® brand for over ten years – because it works.  All plastics degrade, but OBP will degrade in a much shorter time and will be organically recycled back into nature by the action of micro-organisms.

For the reasons to which the OPA draws attention in its statement,  bioplastics are not the answer to plastic litter.  They are very expensive and designed for industrial composting, yet globally, industrial composting facilities are scarce or non-existent and the plastic would have to be collected in order to be composted. They cannot be recycled without separation, and it disingenuous to call them “compostable” as they make nothing for the soil, only CO2 gas which is an environmental hazard.

The MacArthur report is misleading and inaccurate, but most of the signatories would not know one way or the other because they know very little about OBP technology.  Had they engaged with the industry they would have realised that OBP can make a real and viable contribution to reducing plastic litter which escapes into the open environment.


About Symphony Environmental Technologies plc

Symphony has developed and continues to develop, controlled-life plastic technology which helps tackle the problem of microplastics by turning ordinary plastic at the end of its service-life into biodegradable materials. It is then no longer a plastic and can be bioassimilated in the open environment in the same way as a leaf. The technology is branded d2w® and appears as a droplet logo on many thousands of tonnes of plastic packaging and other plastic products around the world. In some countries oxo-biodegradable plastic is mandatory.

For a video of d2w® plastic degrading see For more about biobased plastic technology see

In addition, Symphony has developed a range of additives, concentrates and master-batches marketed under its d2p® brand, which can be incorporated in a wide variety of plastic and non-plastic products so as to give them protection against many different types of bacteria, fungi, algae, moulds, insects and fire.

Symphony has also developed the d2Detector®, a portable device which analyses plastics and detects counterfeit products.  This will be very useful to government officials tasked with enforcing legislation.  Symphony’s d2t tagging and tracer technology is also available for further security. See

Symphony has a diverse and growing customer-base and has established itself as an international business with 74 distributors around the world. Products made with Symphony’s plastic technologies are now available in nearly 100 countries and in many different product applications. Symphony is certified to ISO9001 and ISO14001.

Symphony is a member of The Oxo-biodegradable Plastics Association ( (OPA), the Society for the Chemical Industry (UK), and the Pacific Basin Environmental Council, and the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council. Symphony actively participates in the Committee work of the British Standards Institute (BSI), the American Standards Organisation (ASTM), the European Standards Organisation (CEN), and the International Standards Organisation (ISO).

The OPA has published an informative document about oxo-biodegradable plastic and the role it can play in reducing plastic litter:  See

Further information on the Symphony Group can be found at

For more information please contact:

21st November 2017




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