“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.

Products made with additive-technology and available on the market include film applications such as shopping bags, agricultural mulch films and, most recently, certain plastic bottles. Experts from the plastics industry, waste management, and environment protection voice serious concerns about these products. They claim to be “degradable”, “oxo-degradable”, “oxo-biodegradable”, or “oxo-fragmentable”, and sometimes even “compostable”, without providing any sort of proof for the claims made.

These products are made from conventional plastics and supplemented with specific additives in order to mimic biodegradation. In truth, however, these additives only facilitate a fragmentation of the materials, which do not fully degrade but break down into very small fragments that remain in the environment – a process that would be more accurately described by the term “oxo-fragmentation”.

Claims of “oxo-degradability” might sound appealing, yet, they are misleading as they cannot be verified due to the absence of a standard specification i.e. an explicit set of requirements to be satisfied by the product.

A self-imposed standard for oxo-degradation merely sets out the parameters on how to test the degradation process, not, however, the results or even criteria for passing the test of degradation. There is currently no internationally established and acknowledged standard or certification process that proves the success of oxo-degradation. Without verifiable proof or certification for the claim, the term “oxo-degradable” is just an appealing marketing term.

Companies offering additive-mediated conventional plastic materials promise a “quick solution” to countries that have no or nearly no waste management infrastructure, but this promise comes with great dangers to the environment. If these additive-mediated fragmentable plastics are littered and end up in the landscape, they start to disintegrate due to the effect of the additives that trigger the breakdown into fragments, which remain in the environment.

Accepted standards for industrial composting, for example, already exist and are indicated by corresponding labels. Biodegradation requires consumption by microorganisms, such as in industrial composting or home composting, but time, heat and other critical factors that affect the biodegradation and disintegration of the product or material, are measured against a performance standard [such as Australian Standard AS 4736-2006 (amendment 1, 2009), referred to above and Australian Standard AS 5810-2010 for products designed for home composting] with pass or fail criteria, as prescribed by the relevant standard.

Originally posted by European bioplastics

Background information:

EUBP background paper on ‘oxo-degradable plasticst’

OWS report on ‘oxo-degradable plastics’

OWS report on ‘enzyme-mediated plastics’

Lightweight, single-use plastic shopping bags will be banned in Western Australia from July 1 next year.

The State-wide ban will bring Western Australia into line with South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory which already have plastic bag bans in place. Queensland has also vowed to ban the bag from July 1, 2018.

Plastic bags make up a relatively small portion of solid waste and litter but can significantly harm marine wildlife and birds which can inadvertently eat or become entangled in plastic bag waste.

WA’s plastic bag ban has garnered widespread support across the local government sector in recent months and among major retailers which are some of the biggest suppliers of plastic shopping bags.

Major supermarkets Coles, Woolworths and IGA have indicated their intention to ban single-use plastic bags while some WA retailers – including Aldi and Bunnings – already support the ban by not offering single-use plastic bags to their customers.

The Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) supports the banning of lightweight plastic bags, with the exception of compostable bags which can perform the function of a shopping bag and subsequently help facilitate the collection and composting of food waste.

For further information visit  www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/McGowan/2017/09/McGowan-Government-gives-green-light-to-bag-ban.aspx

Queensland’s Parliament has officially passed the Waste Reduction and Recycling Amendment Bill 2017, which introduces a ban on lightweight singlet-style plastic bags. Coming into effect on 1 July 2018, the lightweight plastic bag ban will apply to all Queensland retailers, with penalties applying to any retailer who does not comply with the legislation.

According to Queensland Environment Minister Steven Miles, the Bill passed through parliament with bipartisan support, reflecting the “overwhelming community support” for both the refund scheme and the bag ban. He has been particularly pleased to learn that some retailers have already stopped supplying lightweight plastic shopping bags in advance of the official commencement date.

A transition period will start a little before 1 July 2018 to help shoppers and retailers make the switch to reusable bags. During the transition, a retailer that normally provides a lightweight plastic shopping bag must supply an alternative shopping bag if the customer asks for one. Retailer may charge for an alternative bag, which can include a reusable heavy duty plastic bag, woven polypropylene “green bag,” paper or other type of bag.

The ban will not apply to the following bags:

• barrier bags without handles (typically used for fruit and vegetables)
• heavier-weight plastic bags (such as those used by department stores)
• bags that are integral to a product’s packaging (such as a bread bag)
• fabric and ‘green’ bags (often used at supermarkets)
• paper or cardboard bags (often used in food outlets, pharmacies and convenience stores)
• kitchen tidy or bin liner bags

This ban will affect all retailers – from grocery stores to fashion boutiques, from convenience stores to fast food outlets – that currently use lightweight plastic bags, including HDPE plastic, biodegradable, compostable, and degradable bags. The National Retail Association (NRA) is holding a series of state-wide workshops to fully brief retailers about the lightweight plastic shopping bag ban.

The Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) supports the banning of lightweight plastic bags, with the exception of certified compostable bags which can perform the function of a shopping bag and subsequently help facilitate the collection and composting of food waste. Certified compostable materials can also be used to develop heavier-weight plastic bags, “green” bags, kitchen tidy or bin liner bags, barrier bags without handles and bags that are integral to a product’s packaging (such as a bread bag). Certified compostable materials and bags are readily available, deliver the same user functionality and are an environmentally friendly alternative.

Bans on lightweight plastic shopping bags are already in place in other parts of the country including South Australia, the Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania.

For further information visit www.qld.gov.au/environment/pollution/management/waste/plastic-bags/about

GMI Research latest study, estimated the global bioplastics & biopolymers market at USD 3,587 billion in 2016 and projects it to reach USD 7,622 billion by the end of 2021, and is projected to witness a CAGR of 16.27% during the forecast period.

Major factors boosting the growth prospects of the bioplastics and biopolymers market include supportive government policies and regulations due to lesser toxicity and lower amounts of carbon content, growing concern for human health, and the high consumer preference towards bio-based bio-degradable packaging.

In 2016, the Bio-PET market is estimated to surge at the highest rate during the forecast period due to its increased usage in the packaging industry. These have similar properties to conventional PET. Bio-PET helps in the reduction of a product’s carbon footprint and also helps in recycling. The properties of Bio-PET include durability, flexibility, heat resistance, printability, and lower carbon content. This makes it the best fit for numerous applications in sectors such as packaging, automotive, consumer goods, textiles, and agriculture.

The packaging and bottles segment is projected to hold the largest share in the bioplastics and biopolymers market during the forecast period owing to its growing application in food, goods, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals packaging. Bioplastics  are being used to manufacture various products such as bags, agriculture foils, toys, textiles, overwraps, lamination films, and disposable housewares, to name a few. The growing global preference for bio-packaged products by consumers is a crucial factor fuelling the growth of the packaging and bottles segment of the bioplastics and biopolymers market.

The bioplastics and biopolymers market is dominated by the European region followed by Asia-Pacific, North America, and the rest of the world. Europe holds the largest market share in the global bioplastics & biopolymers market during the forecast period. The growth of bioplastics & biopolymers market in the European region is attributed to the stringent government policies and regulations, growing concern for human health and an increasing focus from consumers towards sustainable packaging.

Source Link: https://www.gmiresearch.com/report/bioplastic-biopolymers-market.html

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.

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://bioplastics.org.au/certification/the-seedling-logo/

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

A BioPak Customer Success Story

“We do not inherit the earth from our parents, but borrow it from our children.”

This well-known saying really encapsulates why Craig McLaren started Able-Pakk. He was a sheep farmer and while looking after his grand children once a week in 2009 he started to wonder what environmental challenges they would face as they grew up. He decided he wanted to actively contribute to their future by selling BioPak products.

He was our first distribution partner and today continues to deal exclusively with us, selling our entire range. Craig says,

“BioPak aren’t just providing top quality, sustainably sourced products they are providing positive change. In the last seven years there has been a massive uptake of sustainable practices from both businesses and consumers, and I am proud to provide Tasmania an authentically better alternative to plastic packaging.”

Able-Pakk works tirelessly to raise the profile of quality sustainable products, clearly communicating the message that for the future of the planet, people need to achieve ways of creating energy efficient and renewable processes and goods at every level – from small time operators through to large companies and events.

A perfect example of the community closing the loop is Hobart’s Farm Gate Market – they require all their stallholders to use BioPak packaging and provide green bins to collect it after to use. Our packaging and any organic waste is then processed by commercial compost company, Soils First, into high quality potting mix, available for sale.

“Together with BioPak and the community we can make sustainable choices towards a better future for all our children” says Craig.

During the World Economic Forum earlier this year in Davos, Switzerland, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation released a report on the New Plastics Economy.

The United Kingdom-based NGO, which is dedicated to the promotion of a worldwide circular economy, acknowledges that plastics have been important to global commerce. But in this 120-page report, the Foundation says too much value is lost as massive amounts of plastic, especially what is used for packaging, ends up in landfill.

Why focus on plastic?

As the production and consumption of this material are expected to increase rapidly in the coming years, the results of an unchecked plastics industry could include long-term risks to public health, further destruction of the world’s oceans and a loss of economic productivity.

Click here to read more

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.