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Biodegradable bags

In brief, the five bags chosen for the study comprised two oxo-degradable bags, one fossil non-biodegradable polyethylene bag, one bag marked as biodegradable, and one bag certified compostable acc...

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Category : Bags
Brand : Sihtuk
Packing Type : Recycle Pack

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In brief, the five bags chosen for the study comprised two oxo-degradable bags, one fossil non-biodegradable polyethylene bag, one bag marked as biodegradable, and one bag certified compostable according to the European Norm 13432.

Its main conclusions, according to the official press release, were that: “After nine months in the open air, all the materials had completely disintegrated into fragments. However, the biodegradable, oxo-biodegradable and conventional plastic formulations remained functional as carrier bags after being in the soil or the marine environment for over three years. The compostable bag completely disappeared from the experimental test rig in the marine environment within three months but, while showing some signs of deterioration, was still present in soil after 27 months.”

While the researchers point out that the study was peer-reviewed and achieved the purpose for which it was designed, some organisations, notably European Bioplastics, have argued that the conclusions it makes are misleading. They emphasise, for example, that only the compostable bag was actually certified biodegradable in the first place – and only under the scenario of industrial composting, for which it was not tested.

We were interested in how this study, and reactions to it, highlight the continued confusion surrounding the use of plastics and terms such as ‘compostability’ and ‘biodegradability’. It has also put a spotlight on the sometimes negative role certain sections of the media can play in sensationalising a complex and important issue that should perhaps be treated with a little more nuance.

With this in mind, Victoria Hattersley invited François de Bie from European Bioplastics, and Professor Richard Thompson from the team at the University of Plymouth, to give their respective takes on the study and its conclusions. The resulting discussion makes for interesting reading.

comments

Roger West - June 5, 2017

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation.

comments

Roger West - June 5, 2017

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation.

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