Plastic Recyclers Europe finds degradable plastics from Southern Europe deplete film quality

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Not surprising that bio-plastics cause problems

It is not surprising that recyclers are finding that recyclate from Southern European countries is causing defects and ruptures of the film. Their analyses demonstrated that most of the degradation is coming from substances used in production of degradable plastics: starch, polylactide (PLA) and polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT).
This is because the governments of France, Spain, Italy, and now Greece have been persuaded by the manufacturers of starch and PLA plastics to prefer their product. Not only is it incompatible with recycling, and 400% more expensive than ordinary plastic, but it does not achieve their objective to deal with plastic waste in the environment. This is because it is tested to biodegrade in municipal composting, not in the open environment. It does not even convert into compost, as EN13432 requires it to convert rapidly into CO2 gas.
Governments and recyclers should instead be preferring oxo-biodegradable plastic, which is designed to convert rapidly into biodegradable materials if it gets into the open environment. Even better, it has been proved to be recyclable without causing harm to the recycling process or the finished product. See reports publicly available on the website of the Oxo-biodegradable Plastics Association

Paula Hickford 61 days ago

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