EC tells ECHA to abandon its investigation

EC tells ECHA to abandon its investigation into oxo-degradable plastics in order to suppress expected conflicting scientific evidence.

In December 2017 the European Commission (EC) asked the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to prepare a restriction proposal for oxo-degradable plastics.

Ten months into the preparation of this, on 30th Oct 2018, Wells Plastics were informed by ECHA in writing that they are “not yet convinced that oxo-degradable plastics form microplastics”.

So in order to make sure the ‘wrong’ result did not stop the EC going ahead with a misguided ban on oxo-degradable plastics, ECHA has now been told to abandon their investigation by the EC.

The EC have stated that a “marketing ban” on oxo-degradable plastics, agreed by the Council and European Parliament in December 2018, “supersedes” the need for scientific evidence.

This statement shows how, especially as the ECHA report was hoped by certain EC members to support a restriction, that the reason for a ban was purely political, oxo-degradable plastics do not create microplastics.

Therefore there remains no scientific evidence or support from ECHA, despite many months of investigation, for any ban against oxo-degradable plastics in the EU and it follows that the ban agreed in December 2018 is unsafe and unjustified.

It should be noted that this marketing ban concerns oxo-degradable plastics only which are differentiated from oxo-biodegradable plastics by definitions recognised within European nomenclature (TR15351) and, amongst others, ASTM Standards.

The landmark international standard test guide for characterising oxo-biodegradable plastics is ASTM D6954-18 and Wells Plastics is proud to confirm that Reverte™ has demonstrated in polyethylene, polypropylene and polyester full compliance with this through independent sequential testing, proving that these polymers containing Reverte™ do not produce microplastics, do not leave toxic residues and biodegrade harmlessly.

Therefore, despite this scientifically unsafe Draft Legislation being passed, there is absolutely no impact on the ability to market and sell products through Europe containing Reverte Oxo-biodegradable materials.