For the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the City of Vancouver selected EPI Environmental Technologies Inc. to provide oxo-biodegradable plastic bags as an environmental and secure alternative to metal garbage cans. The City of Vancouver chose EPI’s technology as they wanted a clear plastic bag which would have a positive environmental effect after the Winter Games.
EPI believes that hydro-biodegradable and oxo-biodegradable plastics each have their own unique merits and should compete fairly in the market for interested customers to decide which one is the best for themselves based on the product characteristics and their own needs. However rather than competing in a fair and straightforward way on product quality and merits, the hydro-biodegradable plastic group constantly engages in low-ball “spins” to mislead the public. Everyone is welcome to visit EPI’s website as we have put quite a lot of information (many from external sources) for people to review and make decisions based on facts rather than “spins”.
Dr. David Wiles, board member of EPI’s International Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB), responds to a common question posed many times in the media such as the article found here: http://motherjones.com/environment/2009/05/do-biodegradable-plastics-really-work
Do Biodegradable Plastics Really Work?
The correct answer is Certainly, YES.
Let’s see where Ramani went wrong!
In trying to answer the question “Just how long does it take for conventional plastics to break down?” Ramani should have noted that there are dozens of different kinds of plastics available commercially and there is no single answer to the question for all these different materials. His answers to subsequent questions make it clear that he’s talking primarily about polyolefins. Frequently he includes irrelevant consideration of compostable products. What follows here is a correction of his misleading/incorrect statements that do not apply to the oxo-biodegradable polyolefins developed by EPI.
The State of California will soon vote on two bills which will virtually eradicate the use of plastic bags in California. California currently has a law prohibiting fees on plastic bags (not paper), but outright bans are permitted provided the governmental agency does so through the appropriate channels. These appropriate channels permit plastic bags to be banned even if an environmental impact review concludes that paper is worse for the environment than plastic. In other words, bad policy is perfectly legal provided that the bureaucratic process is respected.
The first bill is titled AB 1998. AB 1998 will prohibit large retailers and chain stores after July 1, 2011, from providing any type of plastic carryout bag to a customer. These stores must instead provide reusable bags for a fee and paper bags for $0.25.
On March 11, 2010 the UK’s Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) released Loughborough University’s publication titled “Assessing the Environmental Impacts of Oxo-degradable Plastics Across Their Life Cycle”. EPI Environmental Products Inc. (EPI) gladly participated in the information gathering for the report, viewing the Loughborough study as an opportunity for an independent third party to finally put to rest all questions about its oxo-biodegradable technology. The Loughborough report makes certain findings and recommendations which are not supported by the body of scientific data presented to the researchers and peer reviewers, and which are believed to result from either the authors of the report having virtually no background in polyolefins or biodegradable plastics generally, or two of the peer reviewers being strongly biased towards the bioplastics industry, which they have direct and significant financial interests in supporting, or both.