PRLog (Press Release)
- Dec. 3, 2013 - VANCOUVER, Canada --
On September 9, 2013, the Association of European Plastics Converters (EuPC) called on European legislators to support the ban of oxo-biodegradable plastics on the basis of a study commissioned from the Transfer Centre for Polymer Technology, Austria. Yet, thorough review of the report entitled “Impact of Degradable and Oxo-fragmentable Plastic Carrier Bags on mechanical recycling”, which was released on November 13, 2013 revealed that the conclusions are scientifically unsubstantiated. The report is of poor scientific quality, plagued by methodological flaws and scientific inconsistencies that raise substantial doubt about the credibility of the data and, thus, the conclusions of the report.
Four fundamental methodological flaws of the study were noted: 1) an inadequately small sample size of one type of non-biobased degradable plastic cannot be extrapolated to make general conclusions about oxo-biodegradable plastics, 2) data was presented in a selective and biased manner, 3) no statistical analyses were performed to demonstrate that degradable plastics caused statistically significant changes (i.e. beyond standard random variation) in the assessed technical parameters, and 4) key claims were based upon subjective observations (i.e. visual inspection), which were invariably subjected to bias due to the lack of any blinding. As these limitations completely undermine the validity of this report, the libelous assertions of the EuPC are, therefore, unfounded by empirical proof and must be dismissed entirely.
Numerous studies, including the independent study commissioned by RECYC-QUEBEC, Canada (CRIQ No.: 640-PE35461)
had verified that oxo-biodegradable plastics are recyclable and are compatible with the post consumer plastic waste recycling stream. As outlined above, numerous flaws confound the interpretation of the data presented in the EuPC report. Thus, the claims by the EuPC are unsubstantiated and there is no prima facie
case for a negative impact of oxo-biodegradable plastics on recycling. Moreover, the EuPC report itself recognizes that the recycling process of the different materials, including 100% LDPE in-house waste worked with complications. Indeed, according to Joseph Gho, EPI President and CEO, “it would not only be most imprudent, but also be a mockery of science, if governments or businesses were to ignore the environmental benefits of oxo-biodegradable plastics and act prejudicially against it. The means of achieving best-environmental practice is clear – only through a balanced portfolio of sustainability strategies, with oxo-biodegradable technology featuring prominently amongst them, can the environmental impact of plastic usage be minimized successfully.”
Details of the Technical Criticisms on EuPC Report are available at: http://www.epi-global.com/files/epi_news/138611074313103-...