European recyclers say degradable plastics are a threat to recyclers

Anthony Clark
PRW

Published: November 28, 2013 6:49 pm ET
Updated: November 28, 2013 6:52 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability
Companies & Associations

Biodegradable and oxo-degradable plastics are unwelcome addition to the waste stream and damage the recycling process, according to key players in the European plastics recycling industry.

"If I mix oxo-degradable plastics – even at 1 or 2 percent – into my reprocessing I cannot predict the quality of my finished product," said Ton Emans, president of Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE). "If I make a film out of it, its properties aren't predictable. Oxo-biodegradable plastics have a negative impact on quality.

"I'm absolutely against oxo-biodegradable plastic – I think it is totally wrong."

Emans was equally as damning of biodegradable plastics. "They are just as damaging [to the recycling process] at similarly low rates. Ideally, don't use these materials but if you do they must be kept separate," added Emans.

"With biodegradable plastics you really need to think about one thing – you need to have an end-of-life solution in place in your cities and if that's not in place they why would you use it? Not everybody has a garden, not everyone can put it in with the compost."

Joan Marc Simon, executive director of Zero Waste Europe, agreed with Emans, adding: "From the collection point of view, in which bin does oxo-degradable plastic belong? Does it go with the recyclables, where it will cause problems, does it go with compostables, where it will also cause problems, or does it go in the residuals bin – a collection we should be looking to reduce?

"So tell me, in which bin should it go?

"The recyclers don't want it in the recycling bin and the organic managers don't want it in the compostables bin. Do we want a bin solely for oxo-biodegradables?

"Collecting these materials in the wrong waste bin creates a mess," he added.

Guaranteeing the quality of plastic destined for recycling is important for the growth of the sector, said Simon. "Including oxo-degradable plastics is a real problem. And if we don't tackle this problem it will really contaminate your waste stream.

"We need urgent action on oxo-degradables and we need a discussion on the collection of biodegradables."


Comments

European recyclers say degradable plastics are a threat to recyclers

Anthony Clark
PRW

Published: November 28, 2013 6:49 pm ET
Updated: November 28, 2013 6:52 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

PolyOne launches Geon BIO PVC using soy-based materials

April 24, 2015 11:48 am ET

More than a decade of research is paying off for Battelle Memorial Institute in the form of Geon BIO PVC compounds from PolyOne Corp.    More

Image

California may require more recycled content in bottles

April 24, 2015 11:16 am ET

California lawmakers are considering a pair of bills that would bump up the required recycled content in plastic bottles for beverage companies to...    More

Image

KHS cuts packaging with direct printing on PET bottles, adhesive multi-packs

April 23, 2015 1:39 pm ET

KHS GmbH has been pouring a lot of time into solving issues related to direct printing on PET bottles, and after eight years of work, everyone...    More

Image

DuPont center in India gets LEED Certification

April 23, 2015 1:07 pm ET

DuPont Co.'s Knowledge Center in Hyderabad, India, was awarded LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.    More

Image

MeadWestvaco joins the Recycling Partnership

April 23, 2015 11:19 am ET

MeadWestvaco Corp., a global packaging company with some operations in plastics, is joining the Recycling Partnership.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 15, 2015 - September 17, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events