EuPC bag study “scientifically unsubstantiated”


A study from EuPC that said biodegradable carrier bags will contaminate plastic recycling streams has been dismissed as “scientifically unsubstantiated” by technology company EPI.

EuPC commissioned Austrian research centre Transfer for Polymer Technologies to look into the impact of biodegradable plastics on traditional plastic recycling (see story here).


Its research found that less than 2 per cent of biodegradable plastics will contaminate the stream.

But these results have been disputed by Canadian firm EPI, which also operates in US and UK.

In a statement, the company said: “Thorough review of the report, entitled Impact of Degradable and Oxo-fragmentable Plastic Carrier Bags in Mechanical Recycling, revealed that the conclusions are scientifically unsubstantiated. The report is of poor scientific quality, plagued by mechanical flaws and scientific inconsistencies that raise substantial doubt about the credibility of the data, and thus, the conclusions of the report.”

It noted what it sees as four flaws of the study including a small sample size, data was presented in a selective manner, no statistical analysis was performed to demonstrate that degradable plastics caused statistically significant changes and key claims were based upon subjective observations such as visual inspection.

The statement added: “Numerous studies, including the independent study commissioned by RECYC-QUEBEC, Canada, had verified that oxo-biodegradable plastics are recyclable and are compatible with the post consumer plastic waste recycling stream.”