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Links for further information about Waste management, Legislation, products and environmental issues.

This page is still under development so you should visit again soon - we will give you the news!

Legislation related links:

  • The minimum requirements UK councils have to meet is described in the EU landfill directive. What is interesting in this context, is that UK will need to reduce the total amount of biodegradable (and compostable) material that goes to landfill and not to pick up additional compostable waste streams to get their percentages up.
  • European standard for compostable packaging EN 13432

UK authorities links:

Animal By-products Regulations (Defra): (Leaflet) (regulations)
SEPA for further information on composting licenses contact SEPA at www.sepa.org.uk

References related to benefits of ventilated systems for food waste collection:

University of Innsbruck study
Norwegian agricultural college

Information related to misleading information and claims about Biodegradable and Compostable products:

Many businesses and organizations try to improve their environmental performance and image. However, some have been mislead by clever marketing and questionable scientific statements. As an ethical and environmentally focused company we are concerned about the confusion this kind of marketing has created. The links below will give you some basic knowledge about this problem.

Several manufacturer modify conventional polyethylene (PE) with additives and claim that their products are biodegradable or beneficial for nature. The technology they use, is to make the plastic material unstable by adding a small percentage of biodegradable material (e.g. starch) or by using additives which change the chemical structure of the plastic and makes it brittle under influence of e.g. Oxygen or UV. The bags/film will therefore break up into smaller fragments. This is not necessarily an advantage from an environmental point of view. The bags and film products made from this technology has not met international standards for compostable packaging (e.g. EN 13432). Read more about the background

  • Press release from The International Biodegradable Polymers Association & Working Groups: Degradable polyethylene bags are a threat to health and environment.
  • Position paper from the International Biodegradable Polymers Association & Working Groups regarding degradable Shopping bags: "Degradable" PE Bags , June 2005
  • Statement from the North American Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) based on analyses of Oxo-Biodegradable films. The analyses show that the products have poor performance regarding biodegradation as well as high levels of Lead (a toxic heavy metal), which was measured to be 4-6 times higher than the US/Canadian limits (ASTM 6400-99) and more than 12 times higher than the European and Japanese limits (EN 13432 and GreenPLA). Levels of Cobalt was also high, typically >7 times higher than levels allowed in fertilizers in Canada.
  • False Claims has been sentenced:
    The way of advertising these products had been examined in two lawsuits. In both cases the sentence was that producers/marketers made false claims with respect to degradability / compostability. Background information can be found in the following downloads.
    - Australian Sentence , Dec 2004 (pdf, 1,3 MB)
    - Italian Sentence , Jan 2006 (pdf, 73 kB)
    This should probably be of some concern for some UK supermarkets, chain stores and organizations that has made similar claims.

What is so problematic about plastic in the environment?

Plastic in the environment is not only about littering. It is also about killing a lot of animals and changing ecosystems as well as being carriers of toxic substances.

This list of links should give you some background about the problem.