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Big brands back packaging ban

Some of the world’s biggest brands have backed calls for oxo-degradable plastic packaging to be banned.

Used for products including carrier bags, oxo-degradable plastic is often marketed as offering a solution to mounting waste, with claims it degrades into a harmless residue within weeks or months. But research indicates it simply breaks off into smaller bits, including damaging micro plastics.

PepsiCo, Veolia, Unilever, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), are a few of the household names in the group of 150 organisations that are now calling for a global ban.

“The available evidence overwhelmingly suggests oxo-degradable plastics do not achieve what their producers claim and instead contribute to microplastic pollution. In addition, these materials are not suited for effective long-term reuse, recycling at scale or composting, meaning they cannot be part of a circular economy.” Rob Opsomer, Lead for Systemic Initiatives at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said in a statement.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative is working to ‘create a plastics system that works’ to put a stop to the escalating problems being caused by the waste it produces. Without change, according to one report, the oceans could contain more plastics than fish (by weight) by 2050.

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