Call to Ban Oxo-Biodegradable Plastics Challenged

Over 150 organizations and individuals, including food and beverage companies, chemical companies, industry associations, and members of the European Parliament, released a statement earlier this month calling for a ban on oxo-degradable plastic packaging until further research and testing can be done. The term oxo-degradable plastics, in general, refers to conventional plastic that contains chemical additives intended to accelerate the degradation of the material under the action of UV light and/or heat, and oxygen. More specifically, the statement recommends applying the precautionary principle with respect to oxo-degradable plastic packaging “until extensive, independent third-party research and testing based on international standards (as used by ISO, CEN and ASTM), possibly combined with technological progress and innovation, clearly confirms sufficient biodegradation of the plastic fragments in different environments, and over a time-scale short enough for particles not to accumulate in ecosystems.”



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