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

PetStar doubles capacity at Mexico recycling facility

July 24, 2014 2:10 pm ET

Mexican recycling giant PetStar SAPI de CV, owned by the System of Coca-Cola Bottlers in Mexico, has doubled the capacity of its facility to 130...    More

Meredian merging with Danimer Scientific

July 24, 2014 1:59 pm ET

Bioplastics maker Meredian Inc. is merging with its sister firm, Danimer Scientific LLC.    More

Image

US Bioplastics receives funding to bring Gatoresin to the market

July 24, 2014 1:44 pm ET

Materials maker U.S. Bioplastics is hoping its Gatoresin product will take a bite out of the bioplastics market, thanks to funding from a state...    More

Image

Prices trending up for some recycled resins

July 24, 2014 1:27 pm ET

Plastics News is correcting prices for recycled grades of several commodity resins on this week's resin pricing chart.    More

Image

Injection molder, recycler Polyvulc USA puts itself up for sale

July 24, 2014 12:41 pm ET

Fred Farrell and Larry Lambiotte, founders of Polyvulc USA Inc. and its subsidiaries Polyvulc Tire Recycling Llc and Winnsboro Rubber Recycling LLC, a...    More

Market Reports

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

Plastics Recycling Market Review & Outlook 2014

This special report from Plastics News examines the North American plastics recycling industry and provides insight into indicators that impact market viability, including Resin pricing trends for virgin and recycled market material and historical Resin production trends for post- consumer and industrial waste.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

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

More Events