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‘Ban degradable plastics’

More than 40 organisations call for a UK ban on controversial degradable plastics
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
'Ban degradable plastics'

More than 40 major organisations have called on the government to stop plastic materials that require additives to degrade from being sold on the UK market.
The calls follow news that the British Standards Institution (BSI) enacted a new specification (PAS9017) this month supporting the sale of such plastics.

Signatories to the open letter have urged the government to follow the EU’s lead, and ban similar oxo-degradable plastics from 2022.
The letter highlights that these degradable materials do not solve the global problem of plastic pollution; instead, they encourage members of the public to litter under the misconception that the materials are biodegradable.
The letter has been signed by representatives from a host of major supermarkets, including Tesco, Waitrose, Aldi and Co-op.
It has also been signed by leading environmentalists such as Sian Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet; Julie Williams, CEO of Butterfly Conservation and John Read, founder of Clean Up Britain.
Representatives from associations such as National Farmers’ Union, Bio-based and Biodegradable Industries Association (BBIA) and the Environmental Services Association (ESA) have also added their names to the letter.

Problems with degradables

Increasing evidence shows that microplastics are entering the food chain through animals, fruits and vegetables. This impacts human health, soil health and biodiversity.
Equally, these degradable plastic alternatives will disrupt the Britain’s recycling facilities, which will be unable to differentiate between conventional plastics and doctored alternatives.
There are also concerns that British companies that take up these materials could find they are unable to export their products to the EU once the ban comes into force in 2021.
The letter states: ‘These materials contain additives that accelerate the conversion of macroplastics into microplastics after months or years of laying in the open.’
It adds: ‘The UK voted for the EU ban when it was proposed in 2019. Failing to act now could turn Britain from a leader into a laggard in fighting the plastic crisis.
‘For these reasons, we call on the Government to protect our environment, protect our food production, and protect British business by banning these materials immediately.’

The signatories

James Bull, Head of Packaging – Tesco
Iain Ferguson, Environment Manager, Commercial Team – Food Policy – Co-op
Karen Graley, Partner & Manager, Packaging Innovation and Delivery – Waitrose
Chris McKenry, Project Director – ALDI 
Philippa Arnold, Environmental Policy Advisor – National Farmers’ Union (NFU) 
David Newman, Managing Director – Bio-based and Biodegradable Industries Association (BBIA)
Emily Nichols – The Association for Renewable Energy & Clean Technology
Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive – Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ABDA)
Jacob Hayler, Executive Director – Environmental Services Association (ESA)
Martin Kersh, Executive Director – Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA) 
Sian Sutherland, Co-Founder – A Plastic Planet
Dr Adrian Higson, Company Director – NNFCC
Joan Edwards, Director of Marine Conservation and Public Affairs – The Wildlife Trusts 
Paul Thompson, Stakeholder Engagement – REAL Ltd
Julie Williams, Chief Executive Officer – Butterfly Conservation 
John Read, Founder – Clean Up Britain
Christina Dixon, Environmental Investigation Agency  
Gary Lee  – TIPA
Ian Bates, Chief Executive Officer – Reelbrands Group 
Kieran MacSweeney – BIOTEC
Katharina Schegel – BASF
Tony Breton – Novamont
Harold Naylor, Co-Founder – The Compost Bag Company
Andy Sweetman – FUTAMURA
Lucy Frankel, Environmental and Communications Director – Vegware
Josie Morris, Managing Director – Woolcool
Maria Giovanna Vetere – NatureWorks
Paul Mines, Chief Executive Officer – Biome Bioplastics
Kevin Clarke, Managing Director – KCC Packaging
Mark Shaw – Parkside
Bowen Tan – Pujing Chemical Industry
John Scott, Managing Director – Planglow
Bill Swan, Managing Director – BPR Group
Stuart Foster, Chief Executive Officer – RECOUP
Michele Giovoni, UK Branch Managing Director – Fabbri Group 
Karen Scofield, Chief Executive Officer – Seal Oceanium
Ana Svab, Corporate Responsibility Manager & Simon Mussett, Head of Waste Management -Sodexo
Carmen Michels – Fkur
Graham Whitchurch – Solutions 4 plastic
Mark Bustard – The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC)  
Steven Pritchard – Fuchs Oil
Darcey Crownshaw – Snow Business
Stuart Ball – Absolute Management & Marketing (AMM)
Andrew Gill – Floreon

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