The BBIA has criticised a study published by the University College London that claimed that plastic packaging labelled biodegradable or compostable was misleading, stating that they don’t tell consumers that the material needs to be disposed in industrial facilities and that most compostable packaging ends up in landfill as there are not enough industrial plants capable of processing the material.
The BBIA has stated that it is unaware of any case where materials certified as compostable have been unable to be processed in an industrial composting facility in the past 20 years and reiterates that compostable packaging is designed to be processed in such plants and not littered in the open environment.
BBIA Chairman Andy Sweetman sad: “We recognise that compostable materials, like many other packaging materials, are often disposed of in the wrong way – sent to landfill or incinerators. This is because the UK waste management system is not yet fit for purpose. However, the government is consulting on how to improve waste management. We are proud to contribute to that and have strongly recommended that compostables should be organically recycled with food and garden waste.”
Sweetman added: “In addition, these compostable packaging materials, certified to the BSEN13432 standard, are produced and certified to biodegrade in industrial composting plants. Certified industrial compostable packaging materials are not designed or destined to biodegrade in the street, the sea, landfill, on a field, or in our backyards. Other certified home compostable materials will safely biodegrade in a home compost bin and other materials will biodegrade in water ways. However, BBIA never advocates littering and always recommends using the appropriate disposal method.”