An interesting article on 7th November:
“For the anti-plastics crowd who look to bioplastics to save the world from “toxic” plastic pollution, I have some bad news: “Bio-based and biodegradable plastics are not any safer than other plastics,” writes Lisa Zimmermann, lead author of the article, “Are bioplastics and plant-based materials safer than conventional plastics?” The study was produced by a team at Goethe Universität in Frankfurt, Germany.
While nearly all brand owners in the world are committing themselves to biobased plastic that they hope will be the compostable “green” answer to plastic pollution, this new study shows that bioplastics are, in fact, just as toxic as other plastics,” according to the study first published in the journal “Environment International.” The study, released in October, garnered a lot of attention from numerous scientific and consumer publications.
Those who push bioplastics want us to believe they are a healthier alternative to conventional plastics, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. We in the plastics industry need to address the unintended consequences and debunk the non-scientific myths surrounding the use of bioplastics that detractors of conventional plastics want to use to rid the world of one of the most beneficial materials humankind has ever known. Now, we’re finally getting some help from the scientific/academic community.”
To this it should be added that there is no point in “compostable” plastic at all, because it does not convert into compost. It converts into CO2, and if you can collect a piece of plastic there are better things to do with it than turn it into a greenhouse gas. Also, this type of plastic should not be described as biodegradable – because it is tested to biodegrade in the special conditions found in a composting facility, not in the open environment. Nor is it “renewable” or “sustainable” if you consider the fossil resources used and CO2 emitted in the agricultural production and polymerisation process. The farmers don’t plough their fields and pull their carts with horses any more.
New Study on Bioplastics
Anderson & Shenkar (Environmental Pollution 268 (2021) 115364) – 20th August 2020
“Inside compost facilities, bioplastics that comply with the EN 13432:2000 international
standard biodegrade almost completely within 180 days. However, outside compost facilities,
and specifically in marine environments, these bioplastics may have a similar effect to that of fossil-fuel based plastics.
Both PET and PLA microparticles reduced the fertilization rate of Microcosmus exasperatus, with no significant difference between materials. Accumulation rates in adult M. exasperatus exposed to micronized PET and PLA particles at two concentrations were similar for both the bioplastic material and the conventional plastic particles, with no significant difference between the two materials.”
At the beginning of November, the UK was “locked-down” again, but why?
95.6% of those who have died “from COVID” had a serious pre-existing medical condition – and sometimes more than one.
53.7% of deaths “from COVID” were people aged over 80!
Despite this, the average death-rate for people aged over 75 was significantly lower this October than last October.
A person killed in a road accident is recorded as a COVID death if he had tested positive for COVID within the past 28 days.
So what is going on? What is the real reason for the “lock-down”? The UK government urges us all to “work together” as if that were an end in itself. Work together for what? – to destroy the economy and to drive thousands of people into despair and bankruptcy?
If you challenge governments today on COVID (or on plastic) and on the vast financial sacrifices they are demanding, the zealot’s answer is to invoke the “precautionary principle” – the perils are so great they will always say, that we must err on the side of caution. So, you don’t need a solid case – all you need to do is to scare people.
The people of the UK are not the fools the government imagines them to be, and they will soon stop obeying a government which makes hugely damaging decisions on a completely inadequate basis. It seems to be the same in many countries around the world. We have all become characters in a novel by Kafka, who face situations that are disorienting and illogically complex in a surreal and nightmarish way.
Michael Stephen is a lawyer and was a member of the United Kingdom Parliament, where he served on the Environment Select Committee. When he left Parliament Symphony Environmental Technologies Plc. attracted his attention because of his interest in the environment. He is now Deputy Chairman of Symphony, which is listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange, and is the founder and Chairman of the Oxo-biodegradable Plastics Association.
Earlier Postings in this Column
- 1/ 1/ 20 – Plastiphobia, Microplastics and A Throw-Away Society
- 7/ 1/ 20 – Recycling, Lab Testing, Bangladesh and the Right Bioplastic
- 14/1/20 – Plastiphobia and Bioplastics Definitions
- 21/1/20 – Composting, the European Union and Unemployment
- 30/1/20 – Plastiphobia, Malaysia and a Case Against Compostables and Paper
- 7/02/20 – Coronavirus, MPs Letter, Montreal, Australia and the Dominican Republic
- 14/02/20 – Oman, MacArthur Foundation, Stifling Innovation, South Africa and Compostable Plastics
- 24/02/20 – Serbia, India, Pakistan and European Bioplastics
- 03/03/20 – Plastic To Protect Health and Common Sense on Plastic
- 10/03/20 – Plastiphobia, Singapore, Compostable Plastics, Doorknobs and Carbios
- 17/03/20 – Greening our Way to Infection, Defra Warns Against Bioplastics and Montreal
- 24/03/20 – Ditch the Plastic Bag Ban and Inn-Probio
- 01/04/20 – The Come Back of Plastic Bags, Compostable Plastic Not Wanted and EASAC
- 16/04/20 – Coronavirus and Agricultural Plastics
- 11/05/20 – Coronavirus, Peru, Barbados and Recycling
- 18/05/20 – Say No to Plastiphobia, False Descriptions and the Recycling Myth
- 02/06/20 – Definitions and More Setbacks for Plastiphobia
- 11/06/20 – BBIA, Food Waste and Testing of OXO-Biodegradable Plastic
- 19/06/20 – Oxo Biodegradation, Independent Reports and Precautionary Principle
- 29/06/20 – Banana Republic, Why Turn Plastic into CO2 and Plastic Waste from Ships
- 13/07/20 – Running Scared, The Daily Telegraph and Market Report
- 20/07/202 – Tipa, Plastics Today and The American Genius
- 27/07/20 – Coronavirus, Plastic Litter, Bahrain and Polymateria
- 17/08/20 – Plastics Europe, Confusing Issues and Paper
- 25/08/20 – Professor Emo Chiellini, Plastics Today, Greenwashing and Coronavirus
- 28/09/20 – Kill the Virus, Marine Degradation, Airports, Brazil Retail, Plastic Growth and Face Mask
- 08/10/20 – Compostable vs Biodegradable, Covid 19 and New British Bioplastic Standard
- 27/10/20 – Power of Lobbying, Paper and Cotton Worse than Plastic
- 02/11/20 – Covid 19 and Five Myths About Plastic
- 09/11/20 – Support for OXO BIO, Westminster Forum, Euractiv and Covid
- 23/11/20 – Toxicity of Bio-based and Biodegradable Plastics, and Covid Scaremongering
- 15/12/20 – Recycling and An Article from Austria
- 21/12/20 – EU Scientific Advisers, China Chose Wrong Bioplastics and Covid Nonsense
- 05/01/20 – EU, Covid Lockdowns, WRAP, British Standards Institution and Polymateria
- 12/01/21 – Intertek and Composting
- 19/01/21 – Recycling and Exporting Plastic Waste
- 22/02/21 – Seaweed Plastic, Orange Peel and Xampla
- 02/03/31 – OXO Biodegradable Plastic
- 08/03/21 – EU Scientific Reports and Paper vs Plastic
- 15/03/21 – India, Australia and Dow Chemicals (FREE)
- 14/04/21 – Oxomar, UK Government and Microplastics
Interview with Michael Stephen
The opinions expressed here by Michael Stephen and other columnists are their own, not those of Bioplasticsnews.com.