David Newman, Managing Director of BBIA, has commented on plastics manufacturers calling conventional plastics using oxo additives ‘biodegradable’ in a discussion with PackagingNews.co.uk.
Newman said: “As European Bioplastics denounced just this week, such claims could be classified as ‘Greenwashing’ and we call on the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), Environment Agency (EA) and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to investigate them. In the USA the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has fined many such marketers for calling oxo additive plastic bags ‘degradable’ or ‘biodegradable’. We hope that the UK will also begin to investigate statements which appear to be without supporting standards certification and could lead buyers of carrier bags, as well as end -users, into a false sense of feeling they are doing something beneficial for the environment.
“We think all four UK nations are missing a beat, and that is in allowing a charge exemption for the use of compostable carriers to promote organic waste collection. Where compostable carrier bags have been introduced, mainly by the Co-op food group, we have seen increases in interception of organics and rising recycling rates and reduced costs for local authorities. We recall how organics represent over 30 per cent of MSW and their interception is crucial to improving climate change performance by avoiding landfilling them.”