Mexico's new recycling policy has raised price of recycled materials for making plastic bags, but supply has increased, according to head of Falcon Plastics de Mexico, which is now making 30% recycled-content bags, up from 18% a year ago

LOS ANGELES , October 14, 2011 () – Mexican manufacturer Falcon Plastics de Mexico SA de CV has been able to increase the recycled content of its plastic bags, although it is paying more for them as a result of Mexico’s new recycling policy, said the company’s chief, reported Plastics News on Oct. 13.

The company is making 30% recycled-content bags, up from 18% a year ago, at its plant in Morelia, the capital of the Mexican state of Michoacan, said Juan Antonio Hernandez, managing director of Falcon Plastics, in an interview at Plastimagen Mexico.

The price for the recycled material has risen by 60% in the past year, to 6 to 8 pesos (US$0.45-$0.60) per 2.2 pounds, said Hernandez, who is also president of Industriales de Bolsas Plásticas de México AC (Inboplast), Plastics News reported.

Inboplast, a group of about 40 companies that account for 60% of Mexico’s plastic bag manufacturing, in January started up a US$2.1-million recycling plant in Arandas, Jalisco, Mexico.

In May, the Mexican government enacted a law prohibiting the mixing of organic and non-organic domestic waste in Mexico City, said Hernandez, adding that he expects that the policy will be followed in Mexico’s other 31 states.

The industry fought with the government to overturn its plastic bag ban and to accept that recycling is better than favoring biodegradation for solving garbage-related problems, which it has, Hernandez said, reported Plastics News.

Claims made by some companies that plastics can be 100% biodegradable were criticized in a presentation by Ramani Narayan, a professor at Michigan State University. Narayan, who also represents the U.S. in the area of plastics at the International Organization for Standardization, said “partial degradability is not acceptable.”

The industry’s image is being tarnished by wild claims about biodegradability, said Patrick Barclay, a scientist and technical director of U.K. additive masterbatch maker Wells Plastics Ltd.

The industry is not opposed to biodegradability, it is concerned about unsubstantiated claims, noted Hernandez, Plastics News reported.

The primary source of this article is Plastics News, Akron, Ohio, on Oct. 13, 2011.

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