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Biodegradable Plastics & Marine Litter

Misconceptions, Concerns and Impacts on Marine Environments

  • Author: UNEP
  • Publication date: March 2017
  • Page count: 36
  • Language(s) in this book: English
  • Sales number: 17.III.D.17

Available Formats

ISBN: 9789280734942
ISBN: 9789210601610

About the product

This report concludes that "the adoption of plastic products labelled as ‘biodegradable’ will not bring about a significant decrease either in the quantity of plastic entering the ocean or the risk of physical and chemical impacts on the marine environment". Indeed, biodegradable polymers degrade significantly slower in the marine environment than on land. Therefore, a widespread use is said to lead to continuing littering problems and its negative impacts. Furthermore, oxo-degradable polymers would only increase the quantity of microplastics in the environment and claims stating otherwise are likely motivated by commercial interests rather than scientific evidence.