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10% Compostable Plastics Have No Ill Effect

bioplastics-logo2Up 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.

Ongoing research has broadened the viability of the technology.



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2 thoughts on “10% Compostable Plastics Have No Ill Effect

  1. Such communication on recycling of bioplastics and their compatibility to existing PE film, PET bottle or other plastic recycling schemes should be understood as a consequence of a PR battle which is raging between recyclers and parts of the bioplastics industry.
    Background is an ongoing discussion of proposed EU legislation on plastic carrier bags which may push biodegradable carrier bags into (clean) PE film recycling streams. Whilst bioplastics like biobased PE or PET do perfectly fit to established schemes, other types of (biodegradable) bioplastics may pose challenges to recycling plants and marketing (economics) of recyclates.
    Simplification and generalisation do not help here. We can only hope that the bioplastics and recycling industry will find better ways of dealing with issues. Readers should at least be aware of this and not take such PR too seriously.
    Recycling of mixed plastics with very different properties to yield recyclates of high quality is almost impossible. Polymer streams need to be kept as pure and clean as possible. The trouble does not start at a given (10%) percentage, it will vary and heavily depend on each case. These finger rules apply here as well. However, the need for strong PR claims has overruled them here.

  2. Recycled Plastics are bow used to produce Construction products , many expected to give decades of service. I am convinced that the addition of a biodegradeable fraction will gave a significant effect on Creep failure modes. I think that all biodegradeable products should have a marker [optical brightner added?] Question Can a customer claim damages IF a product fails due to inclusion of a bio polymer?

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