NY Plastic Reduction Bill misses important points

11 June 2024

The Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Bill  passed in the Senate on 7th June. It would require companies to reduce their overall packaging use, improve the recyclability of their products, fund recycling and reuse infrastructure, financially support municipal recycling programs, and reduce toxins in packaging. But according to Symphony Environmental Technologies the new Act missed some important points.

Measures of this kind get a lot of public support, but plastic products are immensely useful, especially for the poorest people, as they are very effective for protecting their food and water from contamination and deterioration.  There is nothing wrong with polyethylene or polypropylene except that it can persist for a long time if it gets into the environment.  It is made from a by-product of oil which used to be wasted, and its production has a better LCA than most other materials used for packaging.  So, until the world no longer needs gasoline and oil for engines it makes sense to use this by-product.

An important piece of research has just been published from the Universities of Sheffield, Stockholm, and Cambridge, concluding that care must be taken when formulating policies so that we do not inadvertently drive a shift to non-plastic alternatives with higher GHG emissions.

Michael Laurier, CEO of the British company, Symphony Environmental Technologies, says “We support efforts to improve waste management and to prevent the escape of plastics into the environment, but until these efforts are wholly successful, we think that plastic products should be made so that they will not persist in the environment for decades.  This can be done at little or no extra cost by making the plastic with a masterbatch which Symphony has developed.”  

This innovative plastic will biodegrade anywhere in the open environment because it needs no special environmental conditions – all it needs is oxygen. Bacteria and fungi then do the hard work using the material as a food source leaving only carbon dioxide, water, and humus behind.  It will also biodegrade in landfill.  This technology is called d2w® and has been utilized globally for the past 15 years.

About Symphony Environmental Technologies plc

www.symphonyenvironmental.com

Symphony has a diverse and growing customer-base and has established itself as an international business with over 70 distributors around the world. Products made with Symphony's plastic technologies are now available in nearly 100 countries and in many different product applications. Symphony itself is accredited to ISO9001 and ISO14001.

Symphony is a founder-member of The BPA (www.biodeg.org) and 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).

Further information on the Group can be found at www.symphonyenvironmental.com and twitter @SymphonyEnv   See also Symphony on Instagram. A Symphony App is available for downloading to smartphones.