Oxo-degradable plastics questioned

A report for DEFRA has casts doubt on the environmental benefits of oxo-degradable plastics

A report for the environment department (DEFRA) has questioned the environmental benefits of oxo-degradable plastics.1

These plastics contain an additive which speeds up degradation so the material fragments after a couple of years, which is meant to reduce litter.

Loughborough University’s report argues this does not improve the plastic’s environmental impact and “potentially gives rise to certain negative effects.” Oxo-degradable plastic is not suitable for composting and could interfere with recycling unless stabilisers are added, the report says. The fate of plastic fragments in soil is also an area of uncertainty.

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