Published On: Mon, Oct 26th, 2015

European Bioplastics accuses additive producers of ‘greenwashing’

European Bioplastics is accusing other sectors of the plastics industry of “Greenwashing” by claiming compliance for their products with EN13432.

The Oxobiodegradable Plastics Association today responded that EN13432 is irrelevant to their plastics, “because it is a standard for testing biodegradation in the special conditions found in industrial composting facilities.

green-bottle2-e1355931384859“By contrast, oxo-biodegradable plastic is designed to biodegrade if it gets into the in the open environment, and no reputable oxo-biodegradable additive supplier would claim that it will comply with EN13432. Suppliers of any kind of plastic do not however print anything on products made with their plastic. This is done by the companies whose products they are. “

The OPA continued : “European Bioplastics” are lobbyists for the hydro-biodegradable plastics industry, which needs to consider its own misleading marketing claims. For example their plastic is marketed as compostable, and an ordinary consumer would therefore believe that it converts into compost – when in fact EN13432 requires it to convert into CO2 gas within 180 days. This contributes to climate-change but creates nothing of value for the soil.

Secondly, their plastic is described as bio-based which would lead consumers to believe that it is derived wholly from vegetable matter when in fact these plastics are made with up to 40% petroleum-derived material. Thirdly, their plastics are described as renewable, but they are not renewable when you consider the fossil fuels consumed in the agricultural production and polymerisation processes.

Fourthly, their marketing claims do not tell you that their plastic is not suitable for recycling with ordinary plastic, nor that if vegetable-based plastics get into anaerobic conditions in landfill, they can generate methane, which is a dangerous greenhouse gas more powerful than CO2.

Further, the Federal Trade Commission of the USA has said that it is not sufficient to show that a test item had complied with ASTM D6400 [or EN13432].

The Commission found that those standards “likely do not typify compost facility operations nationwide. Rather they reflect “optimum conditions and ignore wide variation in actual facility operations. Because of these variations, the test protocols likely do not replicate typical compost facility environments. Therefore, consumers whose local facility [if they have one at all] operates differently than the ASTM assumptions would be deceived if the item were incapable of being composted.”

For further information, contact:
Paula Hickford, at Symphony Environmental
DL: +44 (0) 20 8207 7608 | Tel: +44 (0) 20 8207 5900 |