Bioplaster: Fakta och siffror 1
FAQ JUN 2017 European Bioplastics e.V. Marienstr.
19/20 10117 Berlin What are enzyme-mediated plastics? Enzyme-mediated plastics are not bioplastics. They are not bio-based and they are not proven to be biodegradable or compostable in accordance with any standard3 . Enzyme-mediated plastics are conventional, non-biodegradable plastics (e.g. PE) enriched with small amounts of an organic additive. The degradation process is supposed to be initiated by microorganisms, which consume the additives. It is claimed that this process expands to the PE, thus making the material degradable. The plastic is said to visually disappear and to be completely converted into carbon dioxide and water after some time, which could not yet been proven by any available study. http://docs.european-bioplastics.org/publications/bp/EUBP_BP_Additivemediated_plastics.pdf How can one recognize enzyme-mediated plastics? Enzyme-mediated plastics usually neither look nor feel different from conventional plastics. However, when a product carries claims such as “this plastic degrades faster”, or “makes conventional plastics like PE or PP biodegradable” together with “organic additives” and “eco-friendly”, it is likely that the material is an enzyme-mediated plastic. http://docs.european-bioplastics.org/publications/bp/EUBP_BP_Additivemediated_plastics.pdf Are enzyme-mediated plastics truly biodegradable / compostable? Biodegradation is defined as the biochemical process by which materials metabolise completely to water, carbon dioxide, and biomass with the help of microorganisms. However, the term “biodegradable” is not valuable if the timeframe and the conditions are not specified and related scientific data is not provided. Currently, there are no known, scientifically reliable test results for enzyme-mediated plastics, which provide evidence for biodegradability or compostability. Likewise, there has not been any documentation of enzyme-mediated plastic fulfilling the criteria of the EN 13432 (European standard for industrial compostability) standard. http://docs.european-bioplastics.org/publications/bp/EUBP_BP_Additivemediated_plastics.pdf Are biodegradable plastics a solution for the littering problem? A product should always be designed with an efficient and appropriate recovery solution in mind. In the case of biodegradable plastic products, the preferable recovery solution is the separate collection together with the biowaste, organic recycling (e.g. composting in industrial composting plant phone fax European Bioplastics e.V. or anaerobic digestion in AD plants), and hence the production of valuable compost or biogas. European Bioplastics does not support any statements that advertise bioplastics as a solution to the littering problems. Littering refers to careless discarding of waste and is not a legitimate means of disposal. e-mail web Marienstr. 19/20, 10117 Berlin +49.30.28 48 23 50 +49.30.28 48 23 59 firstname.lastname@example.org www.european-bioplastics.org Biodegradable plastics are often regarded as a possible solution to this problem as they can be decomposed by microorganisms without producing harmful or noxious residue during decomposition. However, the process of biodegradation is dependent on certain environmental conditions (i.e. temperature, presence of microorganisms, timeframe, etc.). Products suitable for industrial composting (as defined according to the European standard for industrial compostability EN 13432) are fit for the conditions in a composting plant, but not necessary for those outside in nature. Littering should never be promoted for any kind of material or waste. It is imperative for the consumer to continue to be conscious of the fact that no matter what type of packaging or waste, it must be subject to appropriate disposal and recovery processes. http://www.european-bioplastics.org/bioplastics/waste-management/ Are biodegradable plastics a solution for the problem of marine litter? Marine litter is one of the main threats to the environment. The largest share of marine litter consists of plastics that originate from a variety of sources, including shipping activities, ineffectively managed landfills, and public littering. In order to minimise and ultimately prevent further pollution of the marine environment, the full implementation of EU waste legislation and an increase in the efficiency of waste management around the globe are crucial. Moreover, the introduction of a Europe-wide ban on landfilling for plastic products and appropriate measures to expand recycling and recovery of plastic waste are necessary. In areas where separate biowaste collection exists, compostable biowaste bags can help divert biowaste – including the bags in which it is collected – from landfills, thereby reducing the amount of plastic bags entering into the marine environment in the first place. Yet, biodegradable plastics should not be considered a solution to the problem of marine litter. Littering should never be promoted or accepted for any kind of waste, neither on land nor at sea – including all varieties of plastics. Instead, the issue needs to be addressed by educative and informative measures to raise awareness for proper and controlled ways of management, disposal, and recycling. 3 “Biodegradability” refers to a process during which microorganisms from the environment convert materials into natural substances such as water, carbon dioxide and biomass without the use of artificial additives. VR 19997 Nz, Amtsgericht Charlottenburg, USt-IdNr. DE235874231 HypoVereinsbank Rosenheim, BLZ 711 200 77, Konto 6356800, IBAN DE26 7112 0077 0006 3568 00, BIC/SWIFT HYVEDEMM448 19