could this \'biodegradable bag\' cut plastic pollution?
It sounds like a solution to the plastic pollution problem.
A British company, so --called \"Oxo-
\"Biodegradable\" bags say they \"break down in the same way as the leaves in the environment, faster \".
The technology is now widely used in Africa and the Middle East.
But if it is so good, why is it that the EU parliament has passed an instruction to prevent Oxo products from being described as biodegradable?
Why should the European Commission consider a full ban?
Michael Laurier, chief executive of Symphony Environmental, the UK\'s largest Oxo product producer, pointed to a white plastic tote bag with his company logo printed on it.
\"This is an insurance policy,\" he said . \"
Symphony has manufactured an additive called d2w that contains a salt mixture added to the original plastic in the factory.
Within two years, as long as oxygen is present, a plastic bag containing d2w will become something with a \"different molecular structure,\" the company said.
\"It will be biodegradable in an open environment,\" the company said on its website . \".
\"If you put it in the ocean, we have shown that
Its degradation and biodegradable degradation products are much faster than traditional plastics, \"said Mr. Laurel.
The turnover of the Symphony Orchestra is 8.
In 2017, it was chaired by Conservative MEP Nirj Deva and sold to countries in the Middle East and Africa.
Saudi Arabia has even passed a law prohibiting all disposable plastic bags other than those made using Oxo technology.
But the European Commission has yet to be persuaded.
In a report on the Oxo bag published on January, the Commission concluded that the European Parliament requested the Commission to consider banning Oxo products by 2020.
The EU Parliament also adopted an Directive in April prohibiting the use of the word \"biodegradable\" related to Oxo technology.
Biodegradable plastic packaging cannot be considered biodegradable.
\"In April, environmental activist Chris Parkham was a guest on the plastic feature of the BBC One Show.
When he mentioned the problem of Oxo plastic, he said: \"Plastic always enters the environment.
There\'s a lot of technology now.
Biodegradable plastics that will break down soon.
\"The minister of environment also participated in the project.
On a later show, Parkham said: \"We have the answer now.
We need a solution urgently now.
When we have technology like Oxobiodegradable.
BBC News later learned that Parkham is a paid consultant to Symphony Environmental, the UK\'s largest manufacturer of Oxo additives.
But he did not announce the fact on television or on the show.
The BBC guide says that when the external activities of anyone involved in the production of our content affect the integrity, independence and high standard reputation of the BBC, there may be conflicts of interest, or it may reasonably be considered to do so \".
The BBC said in a statement that the host \"appeared as a naturalist in his own capacity \".
As an individual, he is not bound by these guidelines.
The statement also said: \"A performance did not fully appreciate the extent to which Chris Parkham was involved in the Oxo Biodegradable industry.
\"If this is the case, they will make it very clear on the show.
Parkham\'s agent said his client did not want to comment on the issue.
MEP Margrete Auken, the European Green Party, took the lead in trying to limit the technology.
\"Marketing of Oxo --
\"It\'s ridiculous to degrade plastics as an environmental solution,\" she said . \".
\"If you see anything marked Oxo
Reuse it will only post more micro
Plastics in soil and water.
\"As for the views of the British government, Michael Gove, Minister of Environment, has asked the chief scientific adviser to\" look at the science behind it \".
Mr. Gove said on The One Show in April: \"This is a potentially exciting development.
\"But actually we need to be sure that if we are going to put public money into some of these plans, we are absolutely confident that we will bring the results that inventors and the entrepreneurs behind them are so eager to achieve.
\"There have been many scientific reports on Oxo.
But there are still differences in scientific views.
For example, a research paper in 2011 concluded that it was possible to produce Oxo bags of \"almost completely biodegradable soil in two years.
But Richard Thompson, professor of marine biology at the University of Plymouth, is skeptical.
He buried the Oxo bag underground and suspended it in the sea and monitored the results.
He showed the BBC team a d2w bag made by Symphony, which he said has been underwater in Plymouth harbor for more than two years.
\"It may still be strong enough to take your shopping home,\" he said . \".
He thinks there are two questions: is the bag degraded fast enough?
Do they really form microplastics when they really break down?
Under the microscope, he showed the BBC a bag in his 10 s that had broken into small pieces.
\"It\'s true that it was downgraded to a tote bag.
But is this an environmental solution? What we are getting now is millions of very small pieces of plastic.
Laurel from the symphony orchestra thinks this is a bad science.
\"This will basically be organically converted into a material similar to a leaf.
No better, \"he said.
It is estimated that 500 billion plastic bags are produced worldwide each year, but only 1-3% recycling.