Up to 10 percent compostable plastics mixed with conventional plastics in post-consumer recycling streams has either no or a negligible impact on the mechanical performance of the recyclates, according to a study published by European Bioplastics.
Biobased plastics films are chemically identical to their conventional counterparts and are easy to manage in recycling streams. Compostable plastics are designed for organic recycling and should be collected accordingly.
In the event that compostable plastics enter recycling streams, the prevalent sorting technologies are able to sort them with little residual waste.
Studies and field trials have demonstrated that a small amount of compostable plastics entering the recycle stream does not negatively impact quality of the recycling stream, according to European Bioplastics.
This was proven up to a share of 10 percent compostable plastics in the recycling stream by independent studies of the Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (University of Applied Arts and Sciences Hannover), the Italian National Packaging Consortium (CONAI) and the company BIOTEC.