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Europe: Avoid making misleading references in claims, plastics body tells additives producers

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European Bioplastics (EUBP) says there has been increasing malpractice by producers of fragmentation additives for conventional plastics referring to the European standard for industrial composting, EN 13432, when marketing their products.

However, EUBP says these products do not fulfill the requirements of the European Union norm for industrial composting of plastic products.

Consequently, it considers this a severe case of greenwashing.

Recent misuse cases comprise the false claim that additive-mediated plastics comply with EN 13432.

In other cases, additive producers aim to piggyback on the good reputation of EN 13432 by referring to only parts of the standard, for example stating that ‘The plant growth test and the ecotoxicity effects have been studied with positive results above 100% according the EN 13432’.

“If a standard is referenced, all aspects of it need to be fulfilled by the material or product,” states François de Bie, chairman of the Board of EUBP.

“Should this not be the case, the reference is misleading. We urge all market operators to comply with communication standards according to the ISO 14020 series.”

Worried about the negative impacts on the environment of additive-mediated conventional plastics, which merely fragment into small pieces, the European Commission has discussed banning such technology in the past.

Currently, the Commission is undertaking an assessment of the impact of oxo-degradable plastics on the environment, as these materials represent the foremost part of additive-mediated plastics.

According to a recent amendment of the EU Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste, the results shall be presented by 2017.