Symphony Environmental Technologies, specialists in controlled-life, oxo-biodegradable plastic technology welcomed the announcement by the EU Environment Commissioner, Janez Potocnik to investigate the problem of plastic waste in the environment.
The announcement, which came at a meeting of EU Environment Ministers in Brussels on Monday, included the intention of the Commission to launch an impact assessment and "the possibility of a Europe-wide ban on plastic bags".
In response to the announcement, Michael Stephen, Deputy Chairman of Symphony, said: “We welcome the Commissioner’s intent to look into “all options”, because the EU currently has no policy for plastic waste which gets into the land or sea environment and cannot realistically be collected for recycling or anything else. We look forward to introducing him to d2w oxo-biodegradable technology as a valuable tool for future policy.
d2w is no more a solution to plastic waste than catalytic converters are a solution to air pollution, but both technologies have an important contribution to make. Education also has a role to play, but it is unrealistic for the foreseeable future to think that there will be no plastic waste in the environment. There is no evidence whatsoever that biodegradable plastic of any kind encourages littering”.
Last month the UK Environment Agency published an LCA which recognised the environmental benefits of plastic bags, including those made of Oxo-biodegradable plastic, and Symphony does not believe that an EU ban on all types of plastic carrier-bags would be justified. The LCA also recognised that these bags are often re-used, and refused to call them “single-use” bags.
“The Commissioner’s announcement is timely given the profusion of national schemes aimed at reducing the amount of plastic waste in the environment, some of which were rushed through and are based on confused scientific knowledge and the wrong technical norms. These should be replaced by a regulatory framework that is long-term, pan-European, realistic and sustainable.”