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Recycling group disputes findings of study on impact of compostable plastics

By: Jim Johnson

February 28, 2014

A U.S. trade group is refuting a report out of Europe that maintains that using up to 10 percent compostable plastic does not impact mechanical properties of recycled post-consumer plastics.

The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers believes the study released by European Bioplastics, a trade group that represents the bioplastics industry, is incomplete.

“They did not justify the claim that compostable plastics, every and all, are compatible for recycling in all different plastics at levels up to 10 percent,” said David Cornell, APR’s technical consultant. He believes the report is incomplete “so the claim is way more than the data supports.”

European Bioplastics, in January, said a study shows that 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.

“What they looked at was insufficient to make that claim,” said Cornell. “It’s a starting point for more work that needs to be done before any claim can be made.”

APR is based in Washington.