There are now 16 nations throughout the world that have legislated to authorise oxo biodegradable packaging materials and 8 (with a combined population of 330 million people) have already made it mandatory to use oxo biodegradable technology.
A. WHAT TYPES OF LEGISLATION
A government wishing to encourage or require the use of degradable plastic may:
- impose a tax on conventional plastic, with a lower tax or no tax at all on degradable plastic, or
- ban the use of conventional plastic, but permit degradable plastic.
B. WHICH PRODUCTS?
Government may apply the legislation:
1. to shopping bags alone, or
2. to one or more items on the following list:
a) Carrier bags or “shopper-bags” which consumers use to take away their purchases from a retail outlet.
b) Refuse sacks for disposal of household, garden or commercial waste.
c) Bags to contain dog faeces
d) Bin liners
e) Laundry bags
f) Sheets and bags for use in agriculture or horticulture
g) Film for wrapping newspapers, magazines, and other similar items for delivery
h) Bread bags and other food packaging film, including frozen food packaging
i) Film for packaging furniture and electrical goods
j) “Bubble-wrap”, shrink-wrap, and pallet-wrap
k) Bottles and other containers for food and beverages
Legislation may authorise the Minister to add more items from time to time, and may specify different commencement dates for different products.
C. TYPE OF DEGRADABLE PLASTIC
Legislation may define “Degradable Plastic” as (1) oxo-biodegradable or (2) hydro-biodegradable, or (3) both.
1. OXO-BIODEGRADABLE plastic means plastic containing a controlled percentage of a pro-degradant additive, which will cause the plastic to degrade by a process of oxo-biodegradation without emitting methane and without causing eco-toxicity. Oxo-biodegradation means “degradation resulting from oxidative and cell-mediated phenomena, either simultaneously or successively. Plastic can be proved to be oxo-biodegradable using the test methods prescribed by American Standard D6954-04.
2. HYDRO-BIODEGRADABLE plastic means plastic made wholly from materials of vegetable origin which degrade by a process of hydrolysis followed by degradation due to cell-mediated phenomena. Plastic can be proved to be hydro-biodegradable using the test methods prescribed by ISO 17088, American Standard D 6400-04 or D6868; European Standard 13432 or Australian Standard 4736-06.
D. WHO DOES THE LEGISLATION APPLY TO?
Legislation may apply to:
1. Everybody, or
2. Specific sections of the public eg. Restaurants, Supermarkets etc.
Legislation in Espirito Santo State and Goias State and several cities, in Brazil have adopted options A2, B2, C1 and D2
Legislation in Neuquen Province, Argentina has adopted options A2 , B2, C3 and D2
Proposed Legislation in Parana State, Brazil has adopted options A2, B2, C1, D2
Proposed National legislation in Brazil has adopted options A1, B2, C3, D2
Legislation in Mexico City has adopted A2, B2, C3, D2
Legislation in Slovenia has adopted options A1, B2, C3, D2
Legislation in Romania has adopted A1, B1, C3, D2
Legislation in Hungary has adopted A1, B2, C3, D1
Legislation in the United Arab Emirates has adopted A2, B1, C1, D2
Legislation in Montenegro has adopted A1, B2, C3, D1
Legislation in Ajman (UAE) has adopted A2, B2, C1, D1
Legislation in Barbados has adopted A1, B2, C3, D1
Legislation in Mauritius has adopted A2, B1, C1, D1