Single-use plastic carrier bags made from biodegradable material should be exempted from the government's proposed 5p-a-bag levy in England, supporters of biodegradable plastic said today.
In a statement, the Wimbledon, England-based Oxo-Biodegradable Plastics Association, which claims more than 1,000 member companies worldwide, said the government was right to grant such an exemption and that the only point to be settled was what type of biodegradable plastics qualified.
Last week the British Plastics Federation and others called on ministers to shelve any ideas about exempting plastic carrier bags made using biodegradable material from the charge, which is due to be introduced in England in October.
Accusing BPF and some environmental waste bodies of “scaremongering,” OPA said such organizations “know, or ought to know, that the characteristics of the different types of biodegradable plastic are not the same. Some are compatible with recycling and some are not.”
OPA said there was no doubt that bio-based plastics marketed as ‘compostable' were not compatible with recycling, and should not therefore qualify for the exemption.
The association pressed its claim for its members' products, saying: “The only type of plastic carrier bag which will biodegrade in the open environment if littered, but can also be recycled into new carrier bags — and can therefore qualify for the exemption — is known as ‘oxo-biodegradable.'”