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

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

World Plastics Council takes on sustainbility for its initial priorities

November 25, 2014 9:51 am ET

The recently formed World Plastics Council (WPC) has set marine debris and post-consumer recycling and energy recover as its initial top priorities.    More

Image

AMA Plastics adds presses, changes management structure

November 24, 2014 3:57 pm ET

AMA Plastics Inc. has strengthened its management structure, received recognition for entrepreneurship, achieved quality improvements and added three ...    More

Image

Indian plastics group targets waste

November 24, 2014 12:46 pm ET

An Indian plastics environmental group and the country's largest brand for packaged water, Bisleri International Pvt. Ltd., have launched a trial...    More

Image

Can plastics return to the driver's seat?

November 24, 2014 6:00 am ET

When the June 1989 issue of Popular Science introduced three cutting-edge automotive technologies, including the latest Corvette and a powerful...    More

Image

PET brought the water bottle revolution

November 24, 2014 6:00 am ET

The single-serve plastic water bottle is ubiquitous in today's culture. But that hasn't always been the case. Not by a long shot.    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

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 Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

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

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events