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Over 150 Organisations Worldwide Back Ellen MacArthur Call To Ban Oxo-Degradable Plastic Packaging

 

Organisations worldwide including the Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) endorse a new statement by the Ellen McArthur Foundation that proposes banning oxo-degradable plastic packaging worldwide.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative has published a statement calling for a ban on oxo-degradable plastic packaging and bags. Signatories include leading businesses, industry associations, NGOs, scientists, and elected officials. They include M&S, PepsiCo, Unilever, Veolia, British Plastics Federation, Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association, Packaging South Africa, Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Plymouth Marine Laboratory, ten Members of the European Parliament and the Australasian Bioplastics Association.

In total, over 150 organisations, including leading businesses representing every step of the plastics supply chain, industry associations, NGOs, scientists, and elected officials have endorsed the statement calling for global action to avoid widescale environmental risk.

Oxo-degradable plastic packaging, including carrier bags, is often marketed as a solution to plastic pollution, with claims that such plastics degrade into harmless residues within a period ranging from a few months to several years. However, as outlined in a new statement by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative, significant evidence indicates that oxo-degradable plastics do not degrade into harmless residues, but instead fragment into tiny pieces of plastic and contribute to microplastic pollution, posing a risk to the ocean and other ecosystems, potentially for decades to come.

“The available evidence overwhelmingly suggests oxo-degradable plastics do not achieve what their producers claim and instead contribute to microplastic pollution. 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.” – Rob Opsomer, Lead for Systemic

“Using oxo-degradable additives is not a solution for litter. Their use in waste management systems will likely cause negative outcomes for the environment and communities,” said Erin Simon, Director of Sustainability Research and Development, World Wildlife Fund. “When public policy supports the cascading use of materials – systems where materials get reused over and over, this strengthens economies and drives the development of smarter materials management systems. This leads to wins for both the environment and society.”

As a result of the significant body of evidence raising concerns about the potential negative impacts of plastic fragments from oxo-degradable plastics, an increasing number of companies and governments have started to take action to restrict their use, in particular in Europe. For example, in the UK retailers such as Tesco and the Co-operative stopped the use of oxo-degradable plastics in their carrier bags. France banned the use of oxo-degradable plastics altogether in 2015.

However, oxo-degradable plastics are still produced in many European countries, including the UK, and marketed across the world as safely biodegradable. Several countries in the Middle-East and Africa, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, areas of Pakistan, Yemen, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Ghana and Togo, are still promoting the use of oxo-degradable plastics or have even made their use mandatory.

To create a plastics system that works, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative, together with the signing organisations, supports innovation that designs out waste and pollution, and keeps products and materials in high-value use in line with the principles of a circular economy.

Note: Oxo-degradable plastics should not be confused with compostable plastics that comply with international standards and can be safely biodegraded through (industrial) composting.

 THE ELLEN MACARTHUR FOUNDATION

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was created in 2010 to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. The Foundation works across five areas: insight and analysis, business and government, education and training, systemic initiatives, and communication.

With its Knowledge Partners (Arup, IDEO, McKinsey & Co., and SYSTEMIQ), and supported by Core Philanthropic Funder (SUN), the Foundation works to quantify the economic opportunity of a more circular model and to develop approaches for capturing its value. The Foundation collaborates with its Global Partners (Danone, Google, H&M, Intesa Sanpaolo, NIKE, Inc., Philips, Renault, Unilever), and its CE100 network (businesses, universities, emerging innovators, governments, cities, and affiliate organisations), to build capacity, explore collaboration opportunities and to develop circular business initiatives.

The Foundation has created global teaching, learning and training platforms on the circular economy, encompassing work with leading universities, schools and colleges, and online events such as the Disruptive Innovation Festival. By establishing platforms such as the New Plastics Economy initiative, the Foundation works to transform key material flows, applying a global, cross-sectoral, cross value chain approach that aims to effect systems change.

The Foundation promotes the idea of a circular economy via research reports, case studies and books series, using multiple channels, web and social media platforms, including circulatenews.org which provides a leading online source for circular economy news and insight.

Further information: ellenmacarthurfoundation.org | @circulareconomy

 THE NEW PLASTICS ECONOMY

The New Plastics Economy is an ambitious, three-year initiative to build momentum towards a plastics system that works. Applying the principles of the circular economy, it brings together key stakeholders to rethink and redesign the future of plastics, starting with packaging. The initiative is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with a broad group of leading companies, cities, philanthropists, policymakers, academics, students, NGOs, and citizens.

The initiative is supported by Wendy Schmidt as Lead Philanthropic Partner, MAVA Foundation, Oak Foundation, and players of People’s Postcode Lottery (GB) as Philanthropic Funders. Amcor, The Coca-Cola Company, Danone, MARS, Novamont, PepsiCo, Unilever, and Veolia are the initiative’s Core Partners.

Learn more at www.newplasticseconomy.org | @NewPlasticsEcon

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Albury City Council recognised for its considerable achievements in implementing a FOGO service

Albury City Council was recognised for its considerable achievements in implementing a FOGO service for residents in Albury and neighbouring councils at the NSW Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) Annual awards ceremony on Friday 10 November.

Winners in the ‘Outstanding Local Government Initiative in Organics Collection/Processing or Marketing’ category the Halve Waste Councils (Albury, Wodonga, Towong, Greater Hume, Federation and Indigo) thoroughly deserved the recognition.

The goal of Halve Waste is to reduce the waste to landfill by 50% by 2020.

In 2015 the Halve Waste Councils committed to delivering a food and garden organics collection service for residents.  This has resulted in a 90% take up with 50,000 households from four Shires participating. 22,000 in Albury, 17,000 in Wodonga, 5,000 in Indigo and 5,000 in Federation Council.

The community has really rallied behind the organics service. In fact, the group of Councils has produced the highest quality compost with the lowest levels of contamination in the State. So far, the contamination rate has been less than 1% overall!

Andrea Baldwin manages the Halve Waste Initiative on behalf of the Councils. Andrea was recognised at the awards as the ‘best’ waste manager driving organics collection and recovery.

To date (November 2017) and since its introduction in 2015, the service has generated over 54,000 tonnes of food and garden organics, all of which is being recycled into much needed compost for farms.

Mike Ritchie from MRA Consulting Group accepted the award on behalf of AlburyCity and said “If any council was looking for a model for implementing a food and garden organics collection service and engaging the community – Halve Waste is the answer. The Halve Waste Councils are to be congratulated for their initiative and achievement in halving the waste to landfill in the region.”

The Halve Waste Councils are to be congratulated for their initiative and achievement in halving the waste to landfill in the region.

The award was presented by Annie Kavanagh on behalf of the NSW EPA. The NSW EPA has supported the implementation of FOGO collection through the Waste Less Recycle More funding program.

For more information, visit the Halve Waste website halvewaste.com.au or email education@halvewaste.com.au.

For further detail on the Halve Waste councils’ successes in best practice waste management and resource diversion, refer to this short video.

Republished from MRA Consulting Group  MRA Consulting Group is assisting in the delivery of the Halve Waste project.

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NZ Packaging Forum Releases Study Of Compostable Food Packaging & Coffee Cups In Composting Facilities

The NZ Packaging Forum Public Place Recycling Scheme has released the findings of a detailed survey of 27 composting facilities across New Zealand to understand their experiences with processing compostable food packaging including compostable coffee cups.

Eleven facilities have agreed to be listed as accepting compostable food packaging with a further two unnamed facilities able to do so. Seven facilities are piloting processing systems or developing the capability to accept compostable cups and other compostable packaging waste. Coverage varies with North Island facilities identified in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, New Plymouth, Hawkes Bay and Wellington and South Island facilities in Tasman and Kaikoura.

Lyn Mayes, Manager of the Packaging Forum’s Public Place Recycling Scheme which commissioned the research said: “Around 295 million hot and cold cups are consumed annually in New Zealand with over 90% of coffee cup brands are either manufactured or sold by our members.  The industry has seen a significant growth in the volume of compostable cups and with this confusion as to whether, where and how they can be composted.

“We commissioned Beyond the Bin to assess the range of cups on the market; survey facilities about whether they can process compostable cups; identify the barriers and make recommendations as to how these can be resolved. Based on the information supplied by our members, the compostable coffee cups in the New Zealand market have similar specifications and are typically certified to the EN13432 (Commercial compost European standard).”

Kim Renshaw, Director Beyond the Bin said: “The composting industry has some will and/ or capacity to process food packaging including coffee cups and in most cases, their C-PLA lids. The barriers they face to process compostable food packaging in their existing operations are varied and significant. Contamination, lack of identification, length of processing time, volume vs weight and organic input restrictions affect a composter’s will and capacity.”

“The Packaging Forum with its members can help solve these issues by creating an identification and standard for cups and innovating product design to reduce the length of processing time. Contamination, volume vs weight and organic input restrictions are process/ regulation related which require a combined effort from waste producers, service providers, regulatory bodies and packaging companies.”

“Many composting facilities have special relationships with credible waste producers, those who contaminate their waste and provide a clean waste stream which means a facility might take compostable food packaging from one customer, service provider or event who agree to use composter approved packaging and are employing decontamination techniques.”

Mayes said that the study provides a pathway:

“We have already initiated a change to our funding criteria for events this year requiring applicants to provide evidence they will separate packaging waste either during the event or through post event sortation. Our members are working with community composting service providers such as Home Grown Waiheke Trust to provide local solutions and we see an opportunity to support standalone compost units as an option for small scale local solutions. And it is particularly exciting that product innovation is taking place with members looking at the development of new products capable of home composting.”

“Work is underway to develop an agreed identification system for coffee cups which will clearly identify them as compostable or recyclable where facilities exist and a process for its use.  We have started discussion with the Waste Management Institute New Zealand (WasteMINZ) about an identification standard to ensure consistency and increase the likelihood of acceptance.”

Paul Evans, Chief Executive of WasteMINZ said “We commend industry for undertaking this research. For any solution to be effective in the long term there needs to be real collaboration between packaging manufacturers and the composting industry, recognising the potential impacts on compost products. We look forward to working positively with the Packaging Forum to determine an appropriate composting standard and identification system, which meets the needs of all parties”.

The Public Place Recycling Scheme is an industry funded initiative which is owned and managed by the Packaging Forum. Over 40 of New Zealand’s leading companies support the Scheme paying levies which are used to buy recycling and litter bins and to help fund recycling and composting at events and venues around the country.

Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) Member BioPak, is also a member of Public Place Recycling Scheme and is on the steering committee of the composting facilities study.

The full report is available on: http://recycling.kiwi.nz/

Originally posted by NZ Public Place Recycling Scheme’s website

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BioCup Art Series To Raise Money For Rainforest Rescue

BioCup Art Series has teamed up with Rainforest Rescue and Great Barrier Reef Legacy to bring you the #rainforest2reef Art Series. The series features 17 artists whose work celebrates and raises awareness on the importance of protecting the ancient and biodiverse Daintree National Park and the Great Barrier Reef. Each story will be revealed at: rainforest2reef.org.au which will go live on the 14th September.

All BioCups are lined with Ingeo™ bioplastic and made with sustainably sourced paper from managed plantations. Ingeo™ bioplastic is made from plants, not oil and it emits 75% less CO2 emissions compared to conventional plastic.

The cups will be printed in sets of three: a rainforest, reef and an image which connects the two areas. Each image tells a tale about an area or an animal or event such as a flood.

All artists all have a strong connection to Daintree and/or Great Barrier Reef. Indigenous artist Karen Shuan is an influential member of the local community and her work Jalungkarr represents the importance of flooding to the area “All the elders are singing for the rain to make the flash flood come.”

BioPak are proud to support and promote the arts community with the BioCup Art Series. Every three months we will print artwork from Australian and New Zealand artists on our 8oz, 12oz and 16oz single wall and double wall BioCups. BioPak’s curator Kate Armstrong seeks out artists who explore environmental themes at the core of their practice. Delight and engage your coffee customers with this changing series that looks at sustainability issues from what is involved in building a house, to the beauty of Australian bush flowers or the urban environment.

“We’re honoured to be working with such a diverse range of artists who can help tell the story of these special places and why they need protecting,” says Rainforest Rescue CEO, Julian Gray.

#rainforest2reef BioCup Art Cups will be on sale from 10th September 2017 to 15th January 2018. Use hashtag #rainforest2reef on images of your cups and BioPak will donate $1 for every post till 15th January 2018*.

Originally posted by  Rainforest Rescue.

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The Seedling Logo Explained

Claims regarding the degradation of plastics can be highly confusing and understanding the difference can actually be quite simple. The seedling logo, an international certification and symbol exists clearly identifying certified compostable degradable plastics.

The seedling logo is a symbol that the product’s claims of biodegradability and compostability as per Australian Standard 4736-2006 have been verified. The seedling logo clearly identifies and differentiates packaging materials as biodegradable and compostable and clearly identifies compostable biodegradable plastics for retailers and consumers.

Use of the seedling logo will help the end consumer, retailers, customers and municipal authorities to recognise compostable packaging and dispose of it accordingly. Importantly, the seedling logo will communicate the authenticity and independent verification of claims of compliance to AS4736‐2006.

To be certified compostable and carry the seedling logo, suitable biopolymer materials must undergo a stringent test regime outlined by AS4736 and carried out by recognised independent accredited laboratories to the AS4736 standard. Once successful testing is complete, application for formal certification must be made to the ABA. Successful applicants will be licensed to use the logo along with their unique certification number.

Certification verifies that the product will fully biodegrade in an industrial composting plant under controlled conditions such as temperature, moisture and time frame – leaving nothing behind but water, biomass and CO2.

The Seedling logo is a registered trademark owned by European Bioplastics and administered by the Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) in New Zealand and Australia. The ABA launched Australian Standard 4736-2006, compostable and biodegradable plastics – “Biodegradable plastics suitable for composting and other microbial treatment” which is known as the ‘seedling logo’ certification system throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Use of the seedling logo is available to both packaging material producers and their customers, and allows retailers and consumers to clearly identify a more sustainable choice in bags and packaging.

So to avoid confusion and be certain that you are making an environmentally friendly sustainable choice, choose products and packing with the seedling logo.

For further information visit https://www.bioplastics.org.au/certification/the-seedling-logo/

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EU Report on Environmental Impact of Oxo-degradable Plastics

Republished from Food Packing Forum May 2, 2017   Ksenia Groh Food Packaing Forum

EU-commissioned report highlights the environmental harm caused by oxo-degradable plastics; European Bioplastics calls for a Europe-wide stop of production and use until ‘better certification schemes’ are developed

On April 24, 2017 the trade association European Bioplastics (EUBP) published an article discussing the report entitled “The impact of the use of ‘oxo-degradable’ plastic on the environment,” prepared by the environmental consultancy Eunomia upon request by the European Commission (EC). Oxo-degradable plastics are conventional plastics containing special additives designed to promote the oxidation of the product, resulting in its brittleness and fragmentation into small pieces, but uncertain to ensure a complete degradation or mineralization.

There is currently insufficient evidence that the oxo-degradable plastics biodegrade fully or within reasonable time

According to EUBP, the Eunomia report, released in August 2016, is “very clear in concluding that oxo-degradable plastics should not be allowed to be sold in Europe.” The report concluded that there is currently insufficient evidence that the oxo-degradable plastics “biodegrade fully or within reasonable time,” and highlighted that the pro-oxidant additives could potentially cause toxic effects in soil. Another major problem concerns the potential contamination of recycled products, as the current technology does not allow easily separating oxo-degradable plastics from conventional plastics in the waste streams. The report stated that oxo-degradable plastics can “significantly impair the physical qualities and service life of the recycled product.”

EUBP further pointed out that currently there is a lack of suitable certification in Europe allowing to confirm the appropriate performance of oxo-degradable plastics. Further, the association pointed to the “potential damage to the reputation and image of truly biodegradable plastics.” Based on the above, EUBP called “on the European Commission to suspend the production, sale and use of oxo-degradable plastics in Europe until appropriate standards, standardized regulation of nomenclature, and suitable certification schemes are available.”

Concerns about the potential environmental harm of oxo-degradable plastics have been voiced previously, for example by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) (FPF reported). In 2014, France proposed a ban on oxo-degradable plastics (FPF reported).

Read more

EUBP (April 24, 2017). “New report calls to suspend the use of ‘oxo-degradable’ plastics.

Reference

EC (2016). “The impact of the use of ‘oxo-degradable’ plastic on the environment.” KH-02-16-983-EN-N doi:10.2779/992559

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Towards a Circular Economy, Bioplastics, Food Waste and Agriculture

Rowan Williams, President of the Australasian Bioplastics Association recently presented “Towards a Circular Economy,
Bioplastics, Food Waste and Agriculture” at the A-NZ  Plastics & Waste Conference.

Key highlights of the presentation included:

  • Bioplastics and their role in a Circular Economy
  • Moving from a linear economy to a Circular Economy
  • Bioplastics, food waste and agriculture
  • Certified compostable plastics -benefit
  • Soil Health improvements from food waste, enabled by compostable bioplastics

To view the presentation, click here Towards a Circular Economy, Bioplastics, Food Waste and Agriculture

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Australasian Bioplastics Association becomes founding member of the Pan Pacific Bioplastic Association

The Pan Pacific Bioplastics Alliance (PPBA) has been formed to work together in identifying collaborative projects in sustainable development that enhance the PPBA leadership position in the global community.

Founding Members of PPBA include the Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA), the Environmentally Biodegradable Polymer Association in Taiwan (EBPA), the Korean Bioplastics Association (KBPA), the Japan BioPlastics Association (JBPA), the Thai Bioplastics Industry Association (TBIA), the Biodegradable Products Institute in the USA (BPI) and the European Bioplastics (EUBP).

From time to time, Associate Members noted as Technical Partners, may be added to the PPBA.

The Australasian Bioplastics Associations President, Mr Rowan Williams, will assume the role of PPBA’s Executive Secretary.

PPBA projects are focused on promoting the continual growth of bioplastics and may include, but are not be limited to the following:

  • Identifying, organising and promoting sustainable development through dissemination of knowledge and information
  • Co-hosting various programs such as lectures, workshops, seminars, forums, conferences, press conferences as well as other activities.

PPBA’s collaborative projects will be aimed at the general public, companies and industries, NGOs, media, government agencies and academic institutions and associations.

Further information on the PPBA and updates on PPBA activities will be communicated to ABA Members and supporters in the future.

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1 Year Free bioplastics MAGAZINE subscription for Australasian Bioplastics Association Members

ABA Members are being offered a 1 year free subscription to bioplastics MAGAZINE. bioplastics MAGAZINE is the only independent bioplastics trade magazine worldwide. Published biomonthly, bioplastics MAGAZINE provides the latest and most comprehensive news on the global bioplastics industry and is a great source for anyone working in bioplastics, packaging, manufacturing or interested in the latest trends in bioplastics.

For ABA Members to receive a 1 year free subscriptions they just need to subscribe online at http://bioplasticsmagazine.com/en/kontakt/subscription.php

Just enter “ABA” in the promotion code field.

The subscription will be free for the first 6 issues (=1 year). A renewal invoice will be sent after a year and ABA Members can opt to continue to receive the magazine or choose to cancel.

Further Bonus – 10% discount on Events

ABA Members also receive a 10% discount at bioplastics MAGAZINE events.

Just enter “ABA” in the promotion code field at  http://bioplasticsmagazine.com/en/kontakt/b3_registration.php (for the upcoming Bioplastics Business breakfast at K’2016 Düsseldorf/Germany) and you will receive a 10% discount.

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Bioplastics Market is Projected to Reach $30.8 Billion, Globally, by 2020

According to a new report by Allied Market Research, titled, “World Bioplastics Market Opportunities and Forecast, 2014-2020″, the global market for bioplastics would reach $30.8 billion by 2020, registering a CAGR of 14.8% during 2015-2020. The rising environmental awareness among the consumers and substantial curiosity of packaging industries towards biodegradability are the key factors responsible for the increasing adoption of bioplastics in rigid packaging applications. The rigid plastic application would account for more than 40% of the market revenue by 2020.

Bioplastics are plastics derived from the renewable feedstocks such as corn, sugarcane and cellulose among others. Large availability of renewable feedstocks and eco-friendly nature of bioplastics boost its market across the globe. Furthermore, increasing adoption in new end user industries and favorable government policies for the use of eco-friendly and biodegradable products are some of the key factors that would drive the market growth. On the other hand, high production cost is likely to dampen the market growth during the forecast period.

The consumption of “drop-ins” bioplastics (Bio-PE, Bio-PET 30, Bio-PA and others) would continue to dominate the overall bioplastics market through to 2020, owing to its overall properties and wide applications similar to traditional plastics (PE, PET and PA among others). Bio-PET 30 would be the fastest growing segment in the non-biodegradable bioplastics market, as it delivers same performance as synthetic PET with regards to re-sealability, versatility, durability, appearance, weight and recyclability.

Key findings of the study

  • Rigid plastics would be the fastest growing application segment, at a CAGR of 31.8%, during the forecast period
  • Europe was the highest consumer, whereas, Asia Pacific was the largest producer of bioplastics in 2014. Asia Pacific would be the fastest growing consumer during the forecast period.
  • Bio-PET 30 segment is expected to have healthy volume growth, at 25.7% CAGR, during the forecast period.
  • Polyesters and starch blends segment collectively accounted for about one-third of the overall biodegradable bioplastic market in 2014.
  • PLA is projected to be the fastest growing segment in the overall biodegradable plastics market, in terms of revenue and volume.

North America and Europe collectively accounted for more than 60% of the market, in 2014 and are expected to maintain their lead throughout the forecast period. European policy support for bioplastic manufacturers and increasing health awareness among consumers are the key factors responsible for the market growth within this region. However, Asia Pacific is projected to be the most lucrative market owing to availability of huge renewable feedstocks coupled with increasing investment made by the global bioplastics players.

The leading players in the market are adopting collaboration, partnership and expansion as the key developmental strategies. The prominent players profiled in this report include Novamont SPA, Metabolix Inc., BASF SE, Natureworks LLC, Corbion Purac, Braskem, Cardia Bioplastics, Biome Technolgies Plc, FKuR Kunststoff GmbH and Innovia Films.