MEXICO CITY — Symphony Environmental Technologies plc, one of the world's largest oxo-biodegradable technology companies, has responded to a leading Mexican recycler's comments about the efficiency of oxo-biodegradable technology.
In an interview with Plastics News in July, Jaime Cámara Creixell, CEO of PetStar SAPI de CV, the world's largest food-grade recycling plant, had expressed concern about oxo-biodegradable companies' claims that plastic materials biodegrade totally. Products sold by such companies are “not compatible with recycling,” he said.
Symphony, of Borehamwood, England, was not mentioned in the article but in an email to Plastics News it wrote that “perhaps his [Cámara's] doubts are based on long-standing misunderstandings amongst certain recyclers about oxo-bio's characteristics.”
It added: "Three questions arise from the reported comments of Jaime Cámara Creixell: Does oxo-biodegradable plastic biodegrade; can it be safely recycled with normal oil-based plastics; and is it relevant to PET bottles?”
The company noted that oxo-biodegradation has already been defined and studied in depth by independent agencies, including the European Standards Organization.
“Oxo-biodegradable plastic does not just fragment, but converts at the end of its useful life into a biodegradable material,” the company wrote. “The American ASTM and British Standards authorities would not have included tests for biodegradability in ASTM D6954 or BS8472 if that were not the case. These standards also require proof that there are no toxic materials nor harmful residues.”
Further tests and studies have shown that oxo-biodegradeable plastic can be safely recycled with normal oil-based plastic, although bio-based plastics cannot, the company noted in terms of the second issue.
And, finally, questions about oxo-biodegradeable plastics in PET recycling are moot because there is no current oxo-biodegradeable plastic on the market with technology suitable for use in PET bottles, the company said.