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Up to 10% compostable plastics has no effect on recylates
Up to 10 percent compostable plastics mixed with conventional plastics in post-consumer recycling streams has either no or a negligible impact on the mechanical performance of the recyclates. This is the key finding of a meta-study published by European Bioplastics.
Bioplastics are biobased, compostable or both. Biobased plastics films are chemically identical to their conventional counterparts and are easy to manage in recycling streams. Compostable plastics are designed for organic recycling and should be collected accordingly. They are marked for this purpose with the Seedling label, for example.
In the event that compostable plastics enter recycling streams, the prevalent sorting technologies are able to sort them with little residual waste.
“Studies and field trials have demonstrated that in the unlikely scenario that a small amount of compostable plastics enters the PE recycle stream, it in no way negatively impacts on the quality of the recycling stream,” said François de Bie, Chairman of European Bioplastics. “Remaining amounts are easier to handle than other residual wastes in the polyethylene (PE) stream such as polystyrene or polypropylene.”
This was proven up to a share of 10 percent compostable plastics in the recycling stream by independent studies of the Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (University of Applied Arts and Sciences Hannover), the Italian National Packaging Consortium (CONAI) and the company BIOTEC.
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On 26 March 2014, European Bioplastics and Industry Intelligence offer a webinar on “Market development of bioplastics – rigid and flexible packaging solutions and end-of-life options”
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