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Plastics battle between Mexico’s biodegrading and recycling sector

Mexico – The already brittle relationship between Mexican biodegrading and recycling industry has reach a new low, fuelled by an open letter sent to the country’s plastics industry executives. ‘It is difficult for me to understand that people continue to mislead plastic processors and users with ‘green’ promises that they never keep,’ Eduardo de la Tijera Coeto, president and ceo of technological consulting firm Grupo TEXNE declared in the much-disussed document.

His complaint was prompted, he said, by receiving endless invitations from suppliers of biodegrading additives to demonstrate what he refers to as ‘the undemonstrable’ – namely that biodegradable plastics belong in the recycling stream. He slammed the biodegrading sector for advocating the benefits to the plastics industry of adding biodegrading substances to resins to ‘avoid the introduction of regulations, plastics substitution and taxes’.

According to De la Tijera Coeto, he was especially affronted by representatives of an oxy-biodegradable material who recently claimed that their company’s additives are incorporated in compostable bags in what he described as ‘a failed attempt to influence an environmental norm in Mexico City’.

Germán Suárez Villamil, president of Grupo Plásticos Nova, responded: ‘It is very easy for him to offer insult, but technology is advancing and our group of companies has no interest in seeing a law that would oblige anybody to use x or z additive.’

But Latin America’s largest PET recycler Petstar has supported De la Tijera Coeto. ‘All distributors should have the courage to acknowledge the incompatibility between plastic biodegrading and recycling,’ suggests managing director Jaime Cámara Creixell.

For the sake of sustainability, he suggested, it would be best if products containing biodegrading materials carried a label saying ‘this product is degradable and therefore is NOT compatible with recycling’ so as ensure that ‘the very large and very valuable flow of recyclable plastic materials will not be contaminated’.

 

For more information, visit: www.petstar.mx

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