Following the example of France and Spain in 2017 in implementation in limiting the production, distribution, sale, provision, and utilization of packaging or bags made from oxo-degradable plastics, conventional plastics that falsely claim to biodegrade, the Netherlands has also decided to a complete ban of oxo-degradable plastics.
Oxo-biodegradable plastic is often referred to as “degradable” plastic that does not require a biological process to degrade. Microorganisms will speed up the degradation process, but they’re not required. This gives oxo-biodegradation a distinct advantage over prior methods for degrading plastic.
Suzanne Kröger, Member of the Dutch Parliament and GroenLinks, the party that submitted the proposal in the Lower House, said, “A ban on oxo-plastics that fall apart into microplastics is an important step in the fight against pollution.”
The decision of the Netherlands Government came following the announcement of a report by the European Commission earlier in January this year announcing plans to restrict the use of these materials in Europe.
Oxo-degradable plastics are used for making bags, bottles, and labels. Their use is on the increase in different parts of the world. Made from conventional, fossil-based polymers to which chemical additives are added to promote degradation, these plastics disintegrate at an accelerated rate following exposure to UV-light, oxygen or heat.
Disintegration is the main point rather than undergoing biodegradation. These materials fragment into tiny pieces that can accumulate as microplastics in the environment. The Netherlands is in favor of a full ban, rather than the restricted use proposed by the Commission.
Kröger, said, “If it is no longer allowed to be produced, it will no longer be able to find its way into our environment.”