European Bioplastics (EUBP) has released a paper on the use of the term ‘oxo-degradable’ in the marketing of plastics and other plastics with additives for degradation.
The paper outlines the issues and questions concerning additive-mediated conventional plastics in an attempt to support consumers, retailers and the industry in identifying unsubstantiated and misleading product claims.
It differentiates between bioplastics that have biodegradability as an inherent property due to the action of naturally occurring microrganisms, without the use of additives and result of fragmentation, and additive-mediated conventional plastics that claim to be ‘degradable’, ‘biodegradable’, ‘oxo-degradable’ or ‘oxo-biodegradable’.
These products, the paper states, are made form conventional plastics supplemented with specific additives that mimic biodegradation, resulting in the fragmentation of materials, and thus leaving small fragments in the environment.
The paper also looks at the degradation process and the issues that these materials may cause at end-of-life and in the waste management process.