FOUR MAJOR ADVANCES FOR d2w OXO-BIODEGRADABLE PLASTIC
Symphony Environmental Technologies Plc is delighted to announce today four
major industry developments.
Symphony’s CEO, Michael Laurier commented “Public pressure to ban plastic is
driven by the fact that plastic litter can last for hundreds of years in the
environment. It is now clear that there is no need to ban plastic – just
use d2w oxo-biodegradable technology to control the life of the plastic at
little or no extra cost. It can still be re-used and recycled during its
service-life, and can be safely incinerated and landfilled.
“In view of these four important developments the supermarkets and other
commercial end-users can now move forward with confidence to adopt d2w
technology for all their short-life plastic products made from polyethylene,
polypropylene or polystyrene.”
BRITISH STANDARD 8472
On 20th June 2011 the British Standards Institution (“BSI”) published
BS8472, which provides tests for biodegradation in soil and simulates the
real-world behaviour of plastic products which get into the environment and
cannot realistically be collected.
This is the first and only Standard in Europe for biodegradability of
plastic litter in the environment – a major breakthrough for d2w
oxo-biodegradable plastics in Europe and around the world. BS8472 is the
result of more than five years work in the Committees of BSI, in which
Symphony played a leading role.
Until now, the only Standard in Europe by which biodegradable plastics could
be tested was EN13432 – for plastics which biodegrade in the special
conditions found in industrial composting, but compostable plastic can
obviously not address the problem of plastic litter as it must first be
Much confusion had been caused by allegations that a plastic could not be
described as biodegradable unless it complied with EN13432 or its
equivalents (American Standard D6400, Australian 4736 and the corresponding
ISO Standards). This confusion is now at an end.
For the first time the EU commission have expressly recognised the problem
of plastic litter in the environment, which d2w is designed to address. In
their Consultation Document on Plastics Bags the Commission said:
“Plastic carrier bags are packaging products with a short lifespan that due
to their low weight and small size, can easily escape the waste management
flows and be conveyed to the sea by rain, drains and rivers. Once in the
environment, plastic bags can last for hundreds of years. Because they last
so long, every year the number of plastic bags in the litter stream
The Commission also said “In the current practice, a packaging product is
acknowledged to be biodegradable if it biodegrades in industrial composting
facilities in controlled conditions. However, a product that is compostable
in an industrial facility will not necessarily biodegrade in natural
conditions in the environment.”
The Commission made the important point that “Advertising a packaging
product as biodegradable when in fact it will not biodegrade in natural
conditions can be misleading for the consumer and can contribute to the
proliferation of littering of products that will
persist in the environment.” Symphony therefore expects that
suppliers of compostable plastic will stop describing their product as
The Commission also said “The current legislative provisions do not allow
for a clear distinction between biodegradability and compostability” –
highlighting the need for a Standard for oxo-biodegradable plastic, which
has now been published as BS8472.
UK ENVIRONMENT AGENCY
In February 2011 the UK Environment Agency published a Life-Cycle Assessment which showed that oxo-biodegradable bags have a better LCA than paper or compostable plastic bags.
BRITISH PLASTICS FEDERATION
In April 2011 the British Plastics Federation submitted to the UK Government(DEFRA) a scientific dossier which proves the biodegradability, noneco-toxicity, and recyclability of oxo-biodegradable plastics.