On November 19, 2013 the industry news magazine Plastics & Rubber Weekly published an article pointing to the risk of contamination of recyclate streams with degradable plastic films. The article states that quantities of 2 % weight / weight of degradable plastic films in plastic recyclates may result in reduced quality of the material bulk. Birgit Hornitschek, scientist at the Austrian consulting firm Transfer Centre for Polymer Technology, carried out the tests that found decreases in mechanical properties and coloring of recyclates also containing degradable plastic films. For the tests 9.45 tonnes of plastic carrier bags were analyzed over a period of 6 months. Plastics & Rubber Weekly did not address potential effects of decreases in mechanical properties on material inertness and migration potential. Alexander Dangis, managing director of the industry association European Plastics Converters (EuPC), states that a separate collection of conventional and degradable plastic products in Europe is required to ensure the quality of recycled materials.
Plastics & Rubber Weekly (November 19, 2013). “Degradable plastics hit recyclate quality, study claims.” European Plastic News.