BPF warns against exemption of biodegradable plastics bags from charge


Biodegradable plastic bags should not be given an exemption under proposals for a plastic bag charge in England, the British Plastics Federation (BPF) has said.

The BPF has warned that it may put jobs at risk in the plastics recycling sector as confidence in the quality of recyclates will be undermined.


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British Plastics Federation Recycling Group chairman Roger Baynham said: “Such a move would not only be contrary to the recommendations of the Government’s own Environmental Audit Committee, but is also opposed by virtually all organisations in the plastics sector, including material suppliers, packaging manufacturers and plastics recyclers.

“Over the last three years, the UK has seen the emergence of significant infrastructure to support plastics recycling. This is at a critical stage where it is necessary for these investments to demonstrate profitable growth and to meet the needs of higher overall recycling targets. This policy exemption could undermine these businesses due to the potential for contamination.

“There is already evidence that recycled plastic is being replaced by virgin polymer in certain applications because of the fear that biodegradable content could undermine the integrity of products made using recycled polymers.”