Businesses & NGOs unite for ban on biodegradable plastics

Over 150 organisations from around the world are issuing a call for governments to put a ban on oxo-degradable plastic packaging. In a statement by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which organizes the initiative, companies including big names such as M&S, Unilever and PepsiCo support the phase-out of the material which is mainly used in packaging and plastic carrier bags.

Oxo-degradable plastics have been called an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional plastics, but organizations fear for the harmful effects it can have on marine and land environments.

“The available evidence overwhelmingly suggests oxo-degradable plastics do not achieve what their producers claim and instead contribute to microplastic pollution,” Rob Opsomer, lead for systemic initiatives at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said in a statement. “In addition, these materials are not suited for effective long-term reuse, recycling at scale or composting, meaning they cannot be part of a circular economy.”


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