PE suppliers go after oxo-biodegradable technology in Mexico

By Stephen Downer
Correspondent

Published: July 31, 2014 1:12 pm ET
Updated: August 1, 2014 2:37 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s three biggest polyethylene suppliers have denounced oxo-biodegradable technology in a letter to the country’s national association of supermarkets and departmental stores.

“We consider that the use of degrading additives is not a sustainable way of tackling this issue [of waste management], as it has not been proven indisputably that materials containing such [biodegrading] additives really do biodegrade in landfills or can be recycled.

“In other words, degrading additives do not add value to plastic waste, including polyethylene waste,” the letter from Braskem Idesa SAPI, Dow Química Mexicana SA de CV and Pemex Petroquímica stated.

Cleantho de Paiva Leite Filho, at the time Braskem Idesa’s commercial and institutional relations director, Paula Sans Quiros, Dow’s commercial director in Mexico for the company’s performance and specialty plastics, and Carlos Pani Espinosa, Pemex Química’s deputy commercial director, signed the letter.

It was sent to Vicente Yáñez Solloa, executive director of ANTAD (Asociación Nacional de Tiendas de Autoservicio y Departamentales AC), dated May 27.

In response, Symphony Environmental Technologies plc, of Borehamwood, England, one of the world’s largest oxo-biodegradable technology companies, sent its technical director, Michael Stephens, to Mexico in late July to talk to ANTAD.

“I am visiting other trade associations and our customers to ensure that this misleading letter does not upset them,” Stephens told Plastics News. “Symphony sells the oxo-biodegradable technology in 97 countries worldwide and Mexico is one of the major regions adopting this technology.”

In the letter, the trio of PE suppliers said they had written to ANTAD after becoming aware that some of the association’s members had been specifying the use of oxo-biodegradable additives in their PE shopping bags and packaging.

“We believe that, together with the use of said additives, a message is being spread that [oxo-biodegradable technology] is environment-friendly, which confuses and deceives society and consumers, inducing them to dispose of waste inadequately, thus damaging the environment and efforts to recycle the material,” the letter’s authors wrote.

They added that on April 16 the European parliament voted in favor of modifying directive 94/62/EC on packaging waste and which urged member countries to “drastically reduce materials that contain oxo-biodegradables to the point where they are eliminated altogether.”

Symphony’s Stephens wrote that the Braskem Idesa-Dow-Pemex trio’s letter “purported to claim that oxo-biodegradable technology was going to be banned in the European Union. This is completely untrue and I immediately flew from the U.K. to Mexico to correct this mischievous misinformation,” Stephens said. “ANTAD distributed the letter and I have visited them this week. I showed them the actual records from the EU parliament and the Council records that followed.

“The parliament had been asked to comment on a proposal by the commission to ban or tax free-issue shopper bags in the EU. One parliament representative took this opportunity to slip in a couple of paragraphs that suggested banning oxo-biodegradable technology. There was no scientific backing to the negative and untrue claims in the recommendation,” Stephens said.


Comments

PE suppliers go after oxo-biodegradable technology in Mexico

By Stephen Downer
Correspondent

Published: July 31, 2014 1:12 pm ET
Updated: August 1, 2014 2:37 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Coca-Cola sustainability report highlights PlantBottle usage

October 1, 2014 12:47 pm ET

Coca-Cola Co. has now distributed more than 25 billion PlantBottles since their introduction five years ago.    More

Image

OptiLedge taking Ikea's pallet replacement system to the next level

October 1, 2014 11:49 am ET

OptiLedge LLC is taking Ikea's plastic alternative to the traditional wooden pallet to the next level, making and marketing them globally.    More

Image

Brown signs California's plastic bag ban into law

September 30, 2014 1:38 pm ET

Gov. Jerry Brown (D) made it official today: plastic bags are banned across the entire state of California.    More

Image

Recycling group releases shrink sleeve label guidelines

September 26, 2014 4:02 pm ET

A post-consumer plastics recycling trade group is out with a set of recommendations to help guide the packaging industry on the use of shrink sleeve...    More

Image

Chemical regulation policy update likely to remain in limbo

September 26, 2014 1:13 pm ET

Efforts to broker a deal on national chemical regulation policy appear to have fallen apart in the waning days of the 113th Congress, leaving plastics...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our industry analysis highlights macro industry trends and micro trends faced by companies that do business in Mexico. The report also provides key industry statistics and forecasts to anticipate future industry expansion.

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

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

More Events