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EA Reports that Conventional Plastics are More Eco-friendly than their Bio-based Alternatives

SpecialChem / Aug 8, 2011

EPI Environmental Products Inc. (EPI) have participated in the UK Environment Agency (EA) study that raised some serious questions as to whether the vilification of the common plastic bag is justified. The EA report on Life Cycle Assessment of Supermarket Carrier Bags found that light-weight, plastic carrier bags have a significantly lower environmental impact, compared to so-called "environmentally friendly" alternatives. EPI provided conventional plastic bags containing its TDPA degradable additive for evaluation.

The EA report detailed an in-depth life cycle assessment (LCA) that compared global warming potentials for different types of bags and the conclusion was that light-weight plastic bags compare favorably with alternatives that are touted as being more environmentally responsible. In fact, paper, compostable bioplastics, and cotton bags all showed significantly higher global warming potential than the conventional plastic bag, according to the LCA, even before considering re-use or recycling of the conventional plastic bag.

Based on these findings, the efforts to eliminate conventional plastic bags and to replace them with supposedly better environmental alternatives have to be considered both misguided and without any scientific basis. In particular, there is absolutely no justification for the aggressive promotion of compostable bioplastics by bioplastics proponents as alternatives to conventional plastics.

EPI, as a producer of oxo-biodegradable additives used to render conventional plastics degradable and biodegradable, welcomes this type of scientific approach to examining environmental benefit. EPI is committed to substantiation of environmental claims and is pleased that the EA report shows that the attacks on the conventional plastic bag by the media, environmentalists and bioplastics lobbyists are completely unfounded. EPI's additives provide additional benefit to conventional plastic bags by reducing the persistence and accumulation of plastics in the environment.

About EPI Environmental Products Inc.

Established in 1991 in Canada, EPI Environmental Products Inc. (EPI) with its UK subsidiary EPI (Europe) Ltd. has become one of the world leaders in the fight against plastic waste. EPI licenses proprietary technology that causes plastic to degrade. Plastic bags, plastic film, plastic packaging and other single-use plastics can remain in the environment for decades. When these products are manufactured using EPI's additives, they will degrade and subsequently biodegrade when discarded in soil, in the presence of microorganisms, moisture, and oxygen.

Source: EPI Environmental Products Inc.


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