If you ever tried to compare a normal PET plastic bottle with a bioplastic bottle, you'll know that the two are indistinguishable from one another. The lack of differences between plastic types has created problems with recyclers and composters who are unable to determine the proper end of life for these products. Leading bioplastic manufacturer, Cereplast, has launched a contest, encouraging applicants to create a universal symbol which will be placed on all of their bioplastic products. Cereplast hopes the emerging symbol will become as recognizable as current logo for recycling. Obviously, Cereplast has its own motivations for developing the very first bioplastic icon, but even for the rest of us, this can be a step in the right direction if all bioplastic manufacturers adopted the symbol as well.
CAW has initiated an enforcement campaign targeting the mislabeling and deceptive advertising of bioplastic products, effectively reducing the likelihood of improper end of life disposal. However, the market for these products is diverse and often confusing to people, accentuating the need for some kind of standard labeling system to inform consumers.
Although a universal icon would not account for the discrepancies between types of bioplastics (which ultimately determine whether they can be composted, recycled, etc.), hopefully a broad symbol can gain ground and lead to a more specific identification system.
To read more about Cereplast’s contest, click here.