EU Plastics Strategy Has 'Fundamental Errors' Regarding Oxo-Biodegradables, Says OPA

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EU Plastics Strategy Has 'Fundamental Errors' Regarding Oxo-Biodegradables, Says OPA

Europe's new policy on plastic waste has been labelled as 'irresponsible', with 'fundamental errors', by the Oxo-Biodegradable Plastics Association (OPA).

The association says that the new plastics strategy shows a 'fundamental misunderstanding' of the principles of oxo-biodegradation, and ignores the benefits that it has in comparison with conventional plastics or expensive plant-based alternatives.

Oxo-biodegradable plastic is ordinary plastic that has been upgraded so that it will decompose quicker.

The OPA says that a number of countries have passed legislation in favour of the material, and that the European Commission is 'out of step' with this international trend.

'The key point to remember is that an oxo-bio plastic item will become biodegradable very much more quickly than a conventional plastic item in the same place in the open environment at the same time - and that is the environmental benefit,' the OPA added.


Plastics Push

Last week, the European Commission launched the first-ever Europe-wide strategy on plastics, with the aim of ensuring that all packaging in the EU market is reusable or recyclable by 2030.

Although the strategy has been welcomed by Europe's retail industry, and by major FMCG companies such as Unilever and Coca-Cola, several groups have voiced concerns.

As well as the OPA, the European Bioplastics Association (EUBP) also criticised the scheme for not including concrete measures to support biodegradable plastics and limiting itself to mechanical recycling.

"Plastics made from renewable raw materials are a sustainable alternative for many plastic products," said François de Bie, chairman of the EUBP.


"While the increase of recycled content in plastics is important to reduce virgin fossil feedstock, alternative sustainable feedstocks such as bio-based feedstocks need to be encouraged as well in order to defossilise the plastics economy."

© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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