UK-based Symphony Environmental Technologies makes offer to UK government to accept for recycling all plastic shopping bags collected in England if government imposes levy on plastic carrier bags but exempts oxo-biodegradable plastic bags

BOREHAMWOOD, England , October 18, 2013 (press release) – Symphony Environmental Ltd, the specialists in advanced plastics, have made the UK government an offer to accept for recycling all oxo-biodegradable and ordinary plastic shopping bags collected in England for recycling.

Symphony is confident that oxo-biodegradable plastic bags can be safely recycled together with other oil-based plastics, and has given DEFRA a report of scientific trials which confirm this.

In a letter to DEFRA on 27th September, Symphony said that if the Government decides to impose a levy on plastic carrier bags in England, and exempts oxo-biodegradable plastic from the levy, Symphony would accept for recycling all the oxo-biodegradable and conventional shopping bags which have been collected in England for recycling.

The company is still waiting to hear from DEFRA

A challenge to EuPC

Symphony has also written to EuPC (European Plastics Converters) questioning their recent statement that ‘oxo-bio’ plastic cannot be safely recycled with other oil-based plastics.
In a letter to Alexandre Dangis, managing director of EuPC in Brussels, on 23rd September, Symphony challenged them to produce credible scientific evidence in support of their position on oxo-biodegradable plastic. No evidence has yet been given.

Furthermore, Symphony offered to conduct trials with any EuPC member to confirm that they could safely include materials containing oxo-biodegradable technology into their existing plastic waste stream. No reply to this offer has been received.

Symphony’s letter added “There is an abundance of independent evidence that oxo-biodegradable plastics can be successfully recycled in the conventional plastic waste stream, most recently the research carried out by Dr Roediger at Stellenbosch. Not only do scientific reports demonstrate that your position is wrong, but all the oxo-biodegradable carrier bags collected by the Co-op and Tesco in the UK were seamlessly incorporated into the conventional plastic waste stream.”

“It is difficult to see how your position can benefit your members who are manufacturers of plastic products, as oxo-biodegradability offers them a defence against allegations that their products could lie or float around in the environment for many decades if not collected. There is nothing wrong with plastic, but it does need to be brought up to date.”

“We are also disturbed that EuPC insists on imitating the bio-based plastics industry by describing oxo-biodegradable plastic as “oxo-fragmentable.” If you understood the technology you would know that it does not just fragment, but converts at the end of its useful life in the presence of oxygen into a biodegradable material which is no longer a plastic. If you do not understand the technology you should not be making statements about it.”

Background on Symphony

Symphony Environmental Ltd is part of Symphony Environmental Technologies Plc, a group of companies specialising in advanced degradable and anti-microbial plastics and in recycling technology. Symphony is quoted on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange.

The group has a diverse and growing customer-base and has established itself as an international business. Products made with Symphony’s plastic technologies are now available in 97 countries and in many different product applications. Symphony is certified to ISO9001 and ISO14001.

Symphony is a member of The British Plastics Federation (BPF), the Oxo-biodegradable Plastics Association ( (OPA), the Society for the Chemical Industry (UK), and the Pacific Basin Environmental Council. It actively participates in the Committee work of the British Standards Institute (BSi), the American Standards Organisation (ASTM), the European Standards Organisation (CEN), and the International Standards Organisation (ISO).

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