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APR reinforces opposition to degradable additive use in plastics

By: Kerri Jansen
WASTE & RECYCLING NEWS

April 16, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers released a statement reiterating its opposition to the use of degradable additives in recyclable packaging and films.

APR's concern is that the plastic could begin to break down after being recycled into a secondary material like carpeting or pipe.

"Since mid-2009 APR has repeatedly asked those who sell and those who use oxo-degradable or biodegradable additives to consider the sustainability implications of those additives on the recyclability of packaging," Steve Alexander, APR's director, said in a statement. "We have asked for the data that support the claims of bottles containing the additives would have no impact on the recyclability of a bottle, including next use life. We have seen no credible supporting data. Without mitigating data, we must oppose the misuse of such additives in recyclable plastic."

APR supports legislation that would require plastics with degradable additives to be labeled "do not recycle." The organization considers bio-sourced or inherently degradable plastic separately from plastics with degradable additives.

"Containers with these degradable additives can seriously impair the integrity of the plastic packaging recycling stream," Alexander said in the statement.