“A lot of composting facilities don’t know that these plastics indeed biodegrade quickly enough to be used together with food,” says Hasso von Pogrell. “So in order to make sure that no plastic enters their composting facilities, they often say they want to avoid any plastic altogether.”
“Labelling would be the first thing to go for and then to understand what it actually means,” von Pogrell says. “The seedling label that European Biolplastics own and the two labels that certifiers own but that doesn’t exclude the possibility that people have been misusing that label as well.”
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My Personal Remarks
European Bioplastics’ opinion is that everything or many things can be solved with correct labelling.
It’s important to understand why European Bioplastics sees the world through this “labelling” glass: The “compost” labelling scheme is a source of revenue for European Bioplastics and the accreditation agencies working on their behalf (Din Certco and TUV Austria (ex-Vincotte))
I don’t completely agree with the fact that correct labelling will solve all the problems. Why?
- Most labelling is already done correctly today, partly because of European Bioplastics and the accreditation agencies working for them.
2. The fraud cases (fraudulent labelling) are limited to my knowledge.
What are the real problems then?
The major problem is that the compostable plastic label have no value in the eyes of the legislator and the waste management industry.
Correct labelling doesn’t necessarily mean that all certified bioplastics will be collected separately, processed by industrial composters and turned into compost within the composting cycles.
It’s important to understand a nuance…
- It’s not because the waste management industry doesn’t recognise the compostable plastic label that it actually doesn’t work.
- It’s not because a plastic packaging is labelled correctly that it will eventual be processed into compost
What should you do?
The time that you could blindly believe in industry labels or in the words of associations and federations funded by the industry are over.
You want to get real about biodegradable and compostable plastics? You should test it yourself. You should roll up your sleeves and start understanding how biodegradation works.
Where should you start?
Well, There’s only one technology out there that can help you. The market leader in the analysis and measurement of biodegradation of plastics.