Oxo-Biodegradable Plastics Federation challenges European Commission report: Page 2 of 2

Again, the OBPF rebuttal challenges the EC report’s use of the term “reasonable time, whatever that ‘reasonable’ time may be defined as.” The report uses this phrase continually; “it does not, however, define its meaning.”

As for the EC’s “speculative” argument that oxo-biodegradable additives in plastic will promote an increase in littering, the OBPF claims there is no evidence to support this. “The issue here is littering—people, not plastic,” and the OBPF cites a study, “Degradable Polymers: Principles and Applications,” which showed that oxo-biodegradables are not the solution to littering because it’s a cultural problem, but that oxo-biodegradables do help control litter pollution.”

While oxo-biodegradable plastics are not compatible with composting (few plastics are, even the so-called compostable plastics) or landfills (nothing degrades in a sanitary landfill, as has already been proven), oxo-biodegradable plastics are suitable for recycling. A 2007 study cited by the OBPF, “Recyc-Quebec,” commissioned by the Quebec government, concluded, “Oxo-biodegradable plastic . . . was completely compatible with recycling streams containing traditional plastic.” A quote from the study said, "Accelerated aging affects the films containing oxo-biodegradable bags in a way similar to films made from traditional plastics alone.”

The OBPF stated in conclusion that “there is no one perfect answer to the world of sustainable and environmentally friendly plastic. However, the idea that this report gives a fair representation of the options available on today’s market is a gross mischaracterization.”   

Ogden told PlasticsToday that the OBPF is hoping to have an audience with the EC this week to discuss the report. “We want it to be a positive engagement,” Ogden said. “Going forward, the EC cannot make good policy based on glaring factual errors and incorrect information based on bold hearsay rather than scientific evidence. That just creates wrong policy.”

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