Earlier this month the University College London (UCL) revealed a study claiming that plastic packaging labelled biodegradable or compostable was misleading as it does not inform consumers that it can only be industrially processed. It also claimed that most compostable packaging was being sent to landfill.
But the BBIA said that is was not aware of any case in nearly 20 years where a composting plant has been unable to compost certified materials. It added that the UCL’s study was potentially very damaging as it tested materials in environments where they were not designed to be placed.
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.”
The association supported the view of Martin Kersh from the FPA, in that certified packaging materials should be referred to as compostable rather than biodegradable.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 [TÜV Austria OK Home Compost] home compostable materials will safely biodegrade in a home compost bin and other materials will biodegrade in water ways [TÜV Austria OK Biodegradable water]. However, BBIA never advocates littering and always recommends using the appropriate disposal method.”
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