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Study: Recycling stream can handle up to 10 percent compostable plastics

By: PRW

January 20, 2014

Small amounts of compostable plastics have no impact on the mechanical performance of post-consumer recycled plastics, according to study published by a trade group that represents the bioplastics sector.

"Studies and field trials have demonstrated that [if] a small fraction of compostable plastics ends up in the [polyethylene] recycle stream, this does in no way negatively impact the quality of the recycling stream," said François de Bie, chairman of European Bioplastics, which describes itself as the association "representing the interests of Europe's thriving bioplastics' industry."

"Remaining amounts are easier to handle than other residual wastes in the polyethylene stream such as polystyrene or polypropylene."

According to the study, the recycling stream can handle up to 10 percent compostable plastics and "show no or negligible impact on the mechanical performance" of post-consumer plastics.

According to Berlin-based European Bioplastics, the studies were done independently by the Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (University of Applied Arts and Sciences Hannover), the Italian National Packaging Consortium (CONAI) and the company Biotec GmbH.