Michael Stephen Column

Innovation and the United Nations (FREE)

Today Michael talks about Innovation and the United Nations. This is a FREE article.


“I believe you have to be willing to be misunderstood if you are going to innovate.”  –

Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon

My experience with oxo-biodegradable plastic proves him right.  Here is a technology which could transform plastic packaging to prevent it accumulating in the environment, but it has the misfortune to be seen as in competition with plastics made from crops. These are essentially useless because they convert into COin a composting facility, not into compost, Composting  but they are made by companies who can afford to spend a fortune on PR and lobbying, and on financing NGOs.

The consequence of this activity is an environmental disaster, because thousands of tons of ordinary plastic are still getting into the environment every week, where they will lie or float around for decades, and from which they cannot be recovered for recycling, composting, or anything else.  

People have been led to believe that microplastics come from oxo-biodegradable plastic, but there is no doubt at all that most of them come from the fragmentation of ordinary plastic when exposed to sunlight. They also come from other sources, such as industrial composting processes, which do not completely remove plastic film fragments, which are then spread on land used for food production.

The Oxomar Report proves oxo-biodegradability even in the marine environment, and the European Chemicals Agency, having studied the scientific evidence, were not convinced that microplastics are formed by that type of plastic.

The United Nations

In my last column, I wrote about the global plastics treaty being promoted at the UN, as a result of which I was interviewed on “Directors’ Talk.” You can watch the video at https://vimeo.com/758624179

Sustainable plastics design offers solution for UN Global Plastics Treaty says Symphony Environmental from DirectorsTalk on Vimeo.

Michael Stephen

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 Biodegradable Plastics Association.

Earlier Postings in this Column

All articles of Michael Stephen can be found here

Interview with Michael Stephen


The opinions expressed here by Michael Stephen and other columnists are their own, not those of Bioplasticsnews.com

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