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SPI’s Bioplastics Council critical of unsubstantiated degradable additives

The Society of the Plastics Industry’s Bioplastics Council is questioning the scientific validity of biodegradability claims made by producers of degradable additives.


The Society of the Plastics Industry’s Bioplastics Council is questioning the scientific validity of biodegradability claims made by producers of degradable additives.

The Council’s concern, included in a new updated position paper, is that suppliers are making marketing claims about “biodegradation” without scientific evidence or proof. “The SPI Bioplastics Council considers the use of terms without reference to existing acceptable standard specifications misleading, and as such are not reproducible and verifiable,” the Washington, DC-based group said in a statement. “Under these conditions the terms ‘degradable,’ ‘oxo-degradable,’ ‘oxo-biodegradable’ and ‘oxo-green’ lack meaning and are not supported by any recognized industry certifications or third-party peer reviewed scientific data.”

Any claim, especially claims for consumers, needs to be supported by third-party vetted scientific evidence based on well-established standard specifications, the Council said. “As bioplastics products continue to grow, it is the duty of the industry to provide clear, substantiated scientific third-party certifications that will assure stakeholders that the products offered meet their requirements for end-of-life and offer real value in their intended use.”

The Bioplastics Council’s updated position paper is available at this link.


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