The German Association for Plastic Packaging and Films (IK) has taken a critical stance toward oxo-degradable plastics by publishing "Frequently Asked Questions About Oxo-Degradable Plastics.”
The background to this publication not only stems from media reports, but also numerous enquiries from IK member companies and also from customers of the plastics packaging sector. The topic is also of international importance, as there is already a legal ban on oxo-degradable plastics in France.
IK intends to bring about a rational debate on the matter by presenting key facts. The association points out that oxo-degradable plastics do not meet the requirements of complete biodegradability. The IK’s bioplastics working group says the terms "oxo-fragmentable" or "thermo-" or "photo-fragmentable plastics" are more appropriate terms as these materials are not completely degradable, but break down to visible or invisible small fragments of plastics.
IK is also making the public aware that the fragmentation of products made of oxo-degradable plastics can exacerbate the current problem concerning the entry of microplastics into waterways and seas. Recycling is also adversely affected by oxo-degradable plastics, the association says.
The FAQs were developed in the IK’s bioplastics working group, which basically handles all matters concerning packaging and films made from bioplastics, and can be downloaded at www.kunststoffverpackungen.de under "Publications.”
German Association for Plastic Packaging and Films