logo

Symphony slams call for ban on oxo-fragmentable plastics

By: Charlotte Eyre
EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS

September 20, 2013

Symphony Environmental Ltd. has criticized a call for a ban on oxo-fragmentable plastics by the European Plastics Converters trade association.

Borehamwood, England-based Symphony, a supplier of oxo-biodegradable additives, says EuPC does not understand the nature of biodegradable plastics.

Earlier this month, EuPC released a statement saying oxo-fragmentable plastics have a negative impact on plastics recycling. They have no positive environmental impact on the existing waste streams and should be forbidden in Europe, said the group.

Speaking to European Plastics News, Symphony group technical director Michael Stephens said he was "fairly outraged" at EuPC's stance.

"The EuPC don't really understand what oxo-biodegradable materials is," he said. "The use of the term fragmentable is in itself inflammatory because it means they don't accept that the material biodegrades. We have a wad of independent tests to show that it does biodegrade."

Stephens also criticized the EuPC for saying that "as from 2 percent oxo fragmentable material in the input waste stream there is already a visual negative impact."

"They are describing some testing but don't go into any scientific detail," he said.

EuPC did not respond when asked for clarification by European Plastics News.

Stephens added: "Anyway, there is a 1 percent inclusion of our additive as a masterbatch at the manufacturing stage. So you can't tell the difference between a bag with our additive in and one without. There is no visual impact unless you want one."

EuPC is maybe confusing biodegradable materials with bio-based products, he says, which tend to be cloudy and milky.

Stephens also said that the claim that oxo biodegradable materials are not recyclable is not true. When trialed by UK supermarkets Tesco and Co-op, the bags were recycled back into use as short-service bags, for example rubbish bags.