Wells Plastics Ltd at Defra

In response to the recent Defra report EVO422, Wells Plastics Limited arranged a meeting with the Defra officials responsible for the commissioning and signing off this report.

The purpose of the meeting was to challenge the findings, the wholly biased approach and to understand why the research project had been commissioned in the first place.

There were many points that were raised during the meeting which included:

The qualifications of the Researchers at Loughborough University to conduct this research, with regards to their, published, low level of expertise and understanding of the subject.

The lack of independence of the peer review panel was challenged, especially in view of some of their direct links and interests in the bioplastic industry.

Why were the team at Loughborough University selected, despite much more suitably qualified Institutions tendering for this work?

The project specification was challenged as the report continually compares oxobiodegradable plastics against bioplastics, and there was repetitive reference to EN13432, as if this defined ’biodegradability.’

Defra claimed throughout the meeting that the comparison was actually between oxobiodegradable plastics (OBD) and unmodified polyolefins, which by any objective analysis, clearly is not the case. Defra insisted that the Project Specification defined this comparison of OBD and polyolefins and inferred that we were ‘misinterpreting the report.’

Subsequent to the meeting with Defra, Wells have been provided with a copy of the Project Specification, and it bears no resemblance to the defence which Defra maintained throughout the meeting. The outcome of the Report was clearly influenced heavily by the technically inaccurate and prejudiced content of the Project Specification.

Despite extensive evidence of the poor technical quality and incorrect reporting of the facts presented to and discussed with Defra, they repeated that they were “confident in the robustness of the report.”

Wells is now seeking a meeting directly with the Minister to explain our findings and our disquiet over this report.