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New policy briefing on compostable plastics

The Plastic Waste Innovation Hub are pleased to release a new policy briefing on compostable plastics.

Compostable plastics are a small but growing part of the plastic packaging system. However, they are currently unregulated and there is widespread confusion about what they are and how to dispose of them. Increasingly, they are contaminating other plastics recycling and some food waste collection systems, which are not able to process compostable plastics. In addition, there is a growing risk that a mistaken belief that compostable plastics will break down in any conditions may lead to increased littering. Life cycle assessment shows that the current system, with no dedicated UK-wide collection and processing facilities for compostable plastics, is not environmentally favourable.

Compostable plastics could be part of a sustainable UK packaging system, but a system of collection, sorting and processing is needed. We believe government should set a target for the introduction of a country-wide system to process compostable plastics along with a roadmap for delivery. Government should also work with industry to develop a code of practice for labelling compostable plastics.

Download UCL Compostable plastics Nov 2020
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